Speaking About Accountability and Trust

Sarah was on the road last week, speaking on “Collaborative Governance” at the Missouri Municipal League’s Annual Conference in Kansas City, and to the Central Indiana Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants in Indianapolis on “Trust, Relevance, and Citizen Engagement.”  Copies of the slides for both programs are posted on our resources page.  Sarah mentioned three reports that were of particular interest to both audiences.  The primary one was Public Agenda’s new report “Don’t Count Us Out”  which looks at the gap between the public’s definition of accountability and how government leaders define accountability.  This gap leads to a disconnect between what the public wants, and the information it receives.  This report should be required reading for both legislative and executive leaders, at every level of government – state, federal, and local.  The other two reports are from the IBM Center for The Business of Government.  The first, “Using Online Tools To Engage”, provides a nice summary of an array of tools available for engaging the public in substantive conversations.  Some of the tools featured are free or low cost. The other report, “Assessing Public Participation”, provides an overview of President Obama’s collaborative governance initiative, evaluates what has worked, and provides suggestions for improving that and other such initiatives.  Both are worth reading.

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