In the October edition of PA Times, the journal of the American Society for Public Administration (republished on her blog), Ines Mergel reveals some of the learning from what she labels as the ‘Open innovation’ platforms. These are sites such as NYC Simplicity, Transforming Washington’s Budget and Challenge.gov – sites that employ crowdsourcing to gain input from citizens to a complex government task. The sites are all linked to from her blog).
The lessons include:
- Carefully craft the problem statement (it has to be in plain language)
- Experiment in-house first
- Offer incentives
- Set a time limit
- A transparent evaluation process
- Say how you plant to complement the outcome – demonstrate the value of participation!
For anyone planning a similar exercise, I’d suggest these are all worthwhile.