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The Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative is now three years old. But is it making a difference? Dr. Nabatchi’s report is a practical guide for program managers who want to assess whether their efforts to increase citizen participation in their programs are making a difference. She 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 to the report provides helpful worksheets as well. Why is evaluation of these initiatives important? For the foreseeable future, agencies will be under great fiscal pressures. They need to be able to both understand how to effectively engage citizens in their government, and demonstrate how effective citizen involvement contributes to better-run, more cost-effective programs.