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Delib helps organizations to leverage web2.0 tools to involve more people into the policy making process. It released a 15 minute video about “OpenGov” to give a nice overview about the topic.

Personally I want to stress an aspect Beth Noveck (deputy chief technology officer of Obama’s administration) highlighted. OpenGov is not about new technology in the first place. It is a tool to achieve strategic goals and support processes. Define these two aspects first and than choose the tools.

OpenGov initiatives only will be a success if people use it. Hence meaningful data has to be  available. However, I have some trouble to agree with Jake Brewer’s idea to make data available on a realtime basis. He actually compares it with real-time data as they are available from stock markets. However, he misses the point. Political decision makers should have a long term perspective like institutional investors do. Like pension funds develop long term investment strategies politicians should develop lont-term strategies as well. As scholars in the field of behavioural finance pinpoint the aspect that a repeated evaluation of investments increases adjustments resulting in a lower net-return than if you would have stayed relaxed. I am afraid that realtime political data wouldn’t be beneficial to develop long-term strategies. Instead media interested in a new scoop would pick a certain number regardless whether it is relevant to develop a long-term strategy or not.

Don’t get me wrong I do like the idea of OpenGov and the potential it has to increase citizens involvement and to leverage their analytical capacity. However, OpenGov itself is not a silver-bullet to develop a long term strategy especially not in the current economic environment. Right now the question is which unpopular decisions to make to get back on track.


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