Agencies are realizing that engaging stakeholders, mission partners, and citizens in the governance process is critical to solving the challenges of the 21st century.
The National Academy has partnered with government agencies to conduct more than a dozen online dialogues—web-based discussion forums in which stakeholders and the public can log on, discuss their ideas for addressing a range of issues, and collectively express their perspectives and priorities for government action. Leveraging the expertise of its network of Academy Fellows, the National Academy has helped government agencies build trust with stakeholders and the public and generate new ideas to help government work better.
In hosting a National Dialogue, the National Academy can advise government and other not for profit organizations in the complex process of online public engagement, from the early stages of brainstorming through analyzing the results. Our methodology involves identifying and reaching the right community that can help address a challenge; crafting compelling questions and background information to guide discussion; selecting and customizing the appropriate technology; and hosting and moderating the event.
Recent examples of our National Dialogues include:
- National Dialogue on the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review: In developing its first review of the various missions and priorities of the homeland security enterprise, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security partnered with the National Academy to host a three-phase online dialogue to gain public input and validation on DHS’s proposed review materials. Beyond shaping the final Quadrennial Review, this event engaged stakeholders in setting shared priorities, identified innovative best practices, and collaboratively created a strategic vision that could guide DHS in its mission of safeguarding the nation. Throughout the process, the National Dialogue engaged over 20,000 visitors from all 50 states and over 2,000 U.S. cities.
- National Dialogue on United We Ride: In 2009, a coalition of 11 Federal departments responsible for providing transportation to people with disabilities, older adults, and people with lower incomes, worked with the National Academy to engage stakeholders in a creative, interactive conversation about the future of coordinating transportation services. Over a 12 day span, nearly 800 people joined the National Dialogue on United We Ride, providing 280 ideas and over 1,000 comments to inform the goals of this cross-cutting program.
- Recovery Dialogue on IT Solutions: In early 2009, the White House and Office of Management and Budget worked with the National Academy to solicit ideas from IT industry leaders on ways to upgrade Recovery.gov, the Federal Government’s online portal for spending data from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In just one week, 21,000 visitors, from technology experts to ordinary citizens, came online to discuss what tools could make Recovery.gov a place where the public could monitor the use and expenditure of these funds. The 500 ideas submitted helped inform new enhancements made to Recovery.gov in late 2009.
- National Dialogue on Health IT and Privacy: In October 2008, the National Academy partnered with the White House Office of Management and Budget to solicit public ideas and perspectives on a critical issue: health information technology and privacy. During the weeklong online discussion, the Dialogue received more than 4,000 visits from across the country, generating hundreds of ideas and comments. This discussion was a pioneer in demonstrating the value of Web 2.0 tools for addressing the most cross-cutting and impactful issues of our time.
For more information, please contact Joe Mitchell, Director of Project Development, email@example.com or (202) 204-3631