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Open Gov’t Action Plan Holds Promise for D&D, Civic Tech

Just over a month ago, the White House released the third version of its Open Government National Action Plan that includes upwards of 40 initiatives to advance its commitment to “an open and citizen-centered government,” and we encourage NCDD members to take a look at it. While the plan covers a lot of ground, some of that ground is in our field, and that could mean opportunities to grow and deepen our work that we won’t want to miss.

The Open Government Action Plan is part of the White House’s involvement in the international Open Government Partnership (OGP), in which 66 countries participate as a way to “increase public integrity, enhance public access to information, improve management of public resources, and give the public a more active voice in government processes.” All of the goals of the OGP can be a boon to both the field of dialogue & deliberation as well as civic tech, so we encourage folks to take notice of the parts of the Open Government Action Plan that may pertain to your specific niche or even create new funding streams or partnerships that you can take advantage of.

For example, the White House’s plan includes a promise that it “will work with communities, non-profits, civic technologists, and foundation partners to develop new commitments that will expand the use of participatory budgeting in the United States,” so if you are thinking about trying PB as a part of your D&D work, now is the time!

For some more of an idea of what’s in the plan, read this snippet from the White House’s recent blog post on its release:

In the third Open Government National Action Plan, the Administration both broadens and deepens efforts to help government become more open and more citizen-centered. The plan includes new and impactful steps the Administration is taking to openly and collaboratively deliver government services and to support open government efforts across the country. These efforts prioritize a citizen-centric approach to government, including improved access to publicly available data to provide everyday Americans with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions.

We see this commitment to open and “citizen-centered” government as a direct result of the years of our field’s work and as a sign that now is the time to keep stepping up our contributions to better, more democratic governance at all levels. We encourage our members and others in the D&D and civic tech field to use this White House plan as a platform to continue moving forward in bigger and better ways!

You can find all the specifics of what’s in the report by downloading the PDF version of it at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/final_us_open_government_national_action_plan_3_0.pdf.

We also encourage you to read the full version of the White House blog post on the report’s release at www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/10/27/advancing-open-and-citizen-centered-government.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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