Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Worth watching — A National Dialogue: OMB taps into the power of us

with 4 comments

There is an amazing program that deserves to be watched carefully because of what it might mean for other agencies.

Everybody has their own definition of Web 2.0 — and, by extension, government 2.0. My definition is that Web 2.0 is the theory that all of us are smarter then any one of us individually — it is the wisdom of crowds. There are other cases of this theory — markets, for example, seek to tap into the power of us… so does brainstorming. Web 2.0 takes those experiences and adds the powers of the Internet, which makes the power of us possible on a much larger, networked scale.

OMB is conducting a wonderful test of these Web 2.0 tools in a test case that could offer some real lessons learned. And OMB found a partner with the National Academy of Public Administration, which has been way in front helping provide government with ways to implement collaboration with their Collaboration Project.

This week, NAPA and OMB launched what they are calling a Web 2.0 National Dialogue , which you can find at This specific “dialogue” will focus on health IT and privacy around the question: How should we expand the use of information technology and protect personal privacy to improve health care?

Earlier, we had Lena Trudeau, program area director for strategic initiatives at NAPA on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris recently. You can hear that conversation here [MP3].

Some more information from The National Dialogue’s FAQ:

This national discussion will engage a diverse group of voices in tackling one of the key issues confronting the nation’s health care system: How can we use information technology to improve the way patients interact with the healthcare system, while safeguarding their right to privacy? Participants will have an opportunity to discuss challenges, generate breakthrough ideas, and recommend principles that will be presented to the next Administration.
How can I participate in the National Discussion?

The National Discussion is open to everyone. It’s easy to submit and rank ideas. To learn more, please read our tutorial on using this site.

How will my participation in the National Discussion make a difference?

The National Discussion will produce concrete, actionable suggestions for government leaders. A panel of Fellows from the National Academy of Public Administration will distill the results of this dialogue into a report that captures “citizen-centric” recommendations. The report will be presented to the transition team for the new Administration, as well as OMB, the United States General Services Administration, the Federal CIO Council, and other relevant Federal agencies.
Who is hosting the National Discussion?

The National Discussion on Health Information Technology and Privacy is being hosted by the National Academy of Public Administration, in partnership with AmericaSpeaks and Delib. Established in 1967 and chartered by Congress, the National Academy is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of top public management and organizational leaders who tackle the nation’s most critical and complex challenges. As the home of The Collaboration Project, the National Academy is uniquely positioned to host this discussion. We are proud to be working in partnership with AmericaSpeaks and Delib, non-partisan experts in online and face-to-face citizen engagement and public deliberation.

You can also get more information here and here. [PDFs]

There are all sorts of ways that this kind of idea can be used. For example, why can’t an agency put its regulations out in this form — let people offer their comments by writing how they think the regulations should be. (To be honest, I don’t really get e-government initiative. In the end, all it does is put regulations online — and not in a particularly usable form. More on this later.) Agencies could do the same thing with an internal policy — tap into the knowledge in your agency. Or use it on HR policies — what a way to get buy-in.

So… let’s watch and I hope we all learn.

Written by cdorobek

October 28, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Chris, thanks for the great writeup! We are getting some really rich participation and over 2000 visits to the Dialogue already! I hope everyone will stop by and contribute their point of view.


    October 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM

  2. […] course, I have been watching OMB and the National Academy of Public Administration’s National Dialogue on Hea…. As I mentioned earlier, we spoke to NAPA’s Lena Trudeau about how things were going. [Hear […]

  3. […] NAPA’s Lena Trudeau for the National Dialogue on health IT and privacy. […]

  4. […] a comment » Back in October, we looked at a interesting attempt to use a power-of-us initiative around a specific topic — […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: