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The growing interest in “engaging the crowd” to identify or develop innovative solutions to public problems has been inspired by similar efforts in the commercial world. There, crowdsourcing has been successfully used to design innovative consumer products or solve complex scientific problems, ranging from custom-designed T-shirts to mapping genetic DNA strands.
The Obama administration, as well as many state and local governments, have been adapting these crowdsourcing techniques with some success. This report provides a strategic view of crowdsourcing and identifies four specific types:
By understanding the different types, which require different approaches, public managers will have a better chance of success. Dr. Brabham focuses on the strategic design process rather than on the specific technical tools that can be used for crowdsourcing. He sets forth ten emerging best practices for implementing a crowdsourcing initiative.