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A Manager’s Guide to Evaluating Citizen Participation

The Obama Administration’s Open Government initiative is now three years old.  But is it making a difference?  Tina Nabatchi’s new report (2012), published by the IBM Center for The Business of Government, provides a practical assessment guide for government program managers so they can assess whether their efforts are making a difference.  The report lays out evaluation steps for both the implementation and management of citizen participation initiatives as well as how to assess the impact of a particular citizen participation initiative.  An appendix provides helpful worksheets, as well.

Agencies in coming years will face greater fiscal pressures and they will also face increased citizen demands for greater participation in designing and overseeing their policies and programs. Understanding how to most effectively engage citizens in their government will likely increase in importance. Nabatchi hopes this evaluation guide will be a useful framework for government managers at all levels in helping them determine the value of their citizen participation initiatives.

The report can be downloaded from the Center’s website:


If you would like to distribute hard copies of this report to others, please e-mail or call the IBM Center at (202) 551-9342 to request free copies.

Tina Nabatchi, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs and Faculty Research Associate, PARCC, at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University.

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