GAO Outlines National Indicator System

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed the state of the art in developing and using comprehensive indicator systems in its 2004 report, “Informing Our Nation: Improving How to Understand and Assess the USA's Position and Progress.”  That report sparked an initiative by the National Academies of Science, with the support of several non-profit foundations, to explore the feasibility of developing a national indicator system.  This led to the creation of a non-profit, State of the USA,

Inducement Prizes, Contests, and Challenge Awards

Why?  Because prizes are effective.  Under the right circumstances, they can be more effective than traditional investments in research and development.

Lowery says: “After falling out of favor for decades, such high-publicity, fat-reward contest came into vogue again in the aughts in the wake of the 1996 Ansari X Prize for advances in commercial spaceflight” which Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne won in 2004.

Is Open Gov 1950 Stymieing Open Gov 2010?

The Federal Records Act of 1950 creates a framework to manage agency records.  It puts the National Archives and Records Administration in charge of oversight of the system and NARA determines the historical value of federal records and operates Federal Records Centers around the country.

Finally, a Name!

The six initiatives were announced back in July with little fanfare, but today’s memo provides high level visibility and press that “review our approach to performance management, detail our strategies and key initiatives, and describe the early progress we have achieved.” 

Re-Thinking Performance Metrics in Federal Agencies

In a Federal News Radio conversation with reporter Francis Rose and two other guests – Robert Shea, a former OMB executive, and Jon Desenberg, with the Performance Institute – we talked about the Obama Administration’s performance initiatives to date, and the potential implications for agency efforts to measure performance.

Federal Agency Social Media Hubs

The one that caught my attention was the new Social Media Hub created by Defense to help provide internal-to-Defense education, policy, and the ability for groups in Defense to "register" their social media initiatives in a central location. 

Open Data Can Make a Difference!

Selecting a college can be one of the most expensive choices in life.  But until recently, the information sources to make an informed decision were scattered and of varying quality – rankings in national magazines, word of mouth, brochures from campuses, and the perennial college tours. 

Crowdsourcing Government Reform

Shortly after President Obama took office, he reached out to the public for ideas on issues his new administration should address. He sponsored an “Open for Questions” forum and encouraged people to submit questions, and rank and vote on which should be top priorities. More than 100,000 questions were submitted, but participants didn’t always respond to the suggested topic areas, such as home ownership, health care reform, education, veterans, etc. Instead, they added their own and

Creating a Problem-Solving Network (Part II)

There have been a series of studies providing lessons on how to effectively create a collaborative community. For example, having a catalyst (like Lucas) and have a convening place to share (like the OpenGovPlaybook wiki), are great starting points. Russ Linden, an author who is an astute observer of collaborative approaches, recently wrote about the importance of a collaborative mindset. And being passionate and motivated matter too, as this Dan Pink video playfully demonstrates:

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