Constituent Engagement

Creating a Shared Playbook


public participation playbook
GSA recently launched the Public Participation Playbook, a resource for government managers to use in engaging citizens in the development of better, more effective public services. The playbook was developed through the collaboration of 70 federal managers from more than three-dozen programs and civil society organizations.

Unveiled at the Adobe Digital Government Assembly in DC, the playbook aims to present best practices and performance metrics for use across government. These guidelines currently focus on five categories that should be addressed in all programs, whether digital or off-line:

  • Establish Goals
  • Understand the Playing Field
  • Design Participation
  • Facilitate Participation
  • Evaluate and Report

Within each category, the “plays” are assigned a detailed checklist to help guide managers through effective planning and execution of programs:

  1. Clearly define and communicate your objectives
  2. Understand your participants and stakeholder groups
  3. Understand and communicate the benefit of participation
  4. Empower participants through public/private partnership
  5. Select an appropriate design format for public participation
  6. Design for inclusiveness
  7. Provide multi-tiered paths to participation
  8. Provide effective and timely notifications
  9. Encourage community building through responsive outreach
  10. Protect citizen privacy
  11. Use data to drive decision-making
  12. Transparently report outcomes and performance of participation

The playbook also identifies and details a wide variety of successful citizen-serving programs rolled out across government as well as resources readily available to help in planning.

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