« people power (notes from the Inauguration) | Main | Jahrzeit »

January 23, 2009

the executive order on transparency, participation, and collaboration

President Obama signed this order on his first full day in office. It looks promising. I am particularly pleased that the Administration sees transparency, participation, and collaboration as related. There is a broad and strong movement for transparency, which I support. Many good-government and civil-liberties groups understand the importance of freedom of information, and there is even an important Act by that name. But knowledge (by itself) is not power. Power, or the capacity to act, requires relationships, motivations, opportunities, training, and models--not just facts. The executive order suggests that the Obama Administration understands this:

My prediction is that transparency will improve in the Obama Administration--certainly above the poor baseline set over the last eight years. I am sure there will be at least some experiments with participation and collaboration. The question is whether these habits will become pervasive. The executive order is a great start, but implementation will be hard.

This, by the way, is an opening for all of us in the civic engagement field: "Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government."

January 23, 2009 8:03 AM | category: Barack Obama | Comments


Site Meter