Lines of Inquiry

The Network’s governance innovation efforts are focused on three new paradigms for broader and deeper collaboration with citizens that have the potential to make governance more effective and legitimate. While these different approaches to opening governance are often used in combination, we view each of these as a new model of governance:

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Smarter Governance – Getting Knowledge In: Institutions seek input from lay and expert citizens to inform how they make decisions.

Example: An international governance body enlists a global network of scientists to inform its strategies on climate change.


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Open Data Governance – Pushing Data Out: Institutions publish the data they collect so that citizens can analyze and use this information to detect and solve problems.

Example: A national government releases hospital infection records, enabling developers to create a hospital safety search engine that allows parents to make an informed decision about where to take their sick child.

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Shared Governance – Distributing Responsibility: Institutions delegate responsibility to citizens, or empower citizens to develop solutions themselves.

Example: Legislatures from New York City to Seville, Spain to Porto Alegre, Brazil, are experimenting with handing control over millions of dollars of budgetary spending to citizens instead of professional politicians and officials.