The plans of top agencies have been assessed by both the government and advocacy groups to see if they met the requirements laid out in the directives, often with an emphasis on the degree to which they increase transparency. This report focuses on how well these agency plans increase public participation and collaboration.
There are new and exciting opportunities to engage citizens by informing, consulting, involving, and collaborating with them through a number of techniques; for example, the use of online surveys and peer-to-peer communication tools such as blogs and wikis. Many of these are now being piloted and used by states, localities, and nonprofits. There is also an increased interest by federal agencies. But the challenge of reaching those who don’t already participate as activists or interest group members remains.