Federal agencies can engage and collaborate with private citizens, nonprofits, academic institutions, and other levels of government to address complex and crosscutting challenges. Agencies can use open innovation strategies to create structured opportunities to partner with the public.
Figure: Descriptions of Open Innovation Strategies Federal Agencies Have Used
- collect information and perspectives;
- develop and test new ideas, solutions, or products;
- enhance agency capacity;
- build or expand community; and
- increase public awareness.
- Policies and Guidance: For crowdsourcing and citizen science, OSTP outlined principles agencies should follow when using this strategy, and developed a “toolkit” with practices, lessons learned, and case studies that also can inform agency efforts.
- Websites: GSA launched Challenge.gov, which provides a centralized list of all federally-sponsored prize competitions and challenges and is designed to help agencies find participants for these challenges.
- Federal Communities of Practice: OMB, OSTP, and GSA coordinate the Open Data Working Group, which meets every 2 weeks to share best practices and tools, and allows agencies to learn from one another.
GAO-17-14: Published: Oct 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 13, 2016.
How can the federal government better engage citizens? Federal agencies are using "open innovation" tools to leverage the knowledge and skills of people outside government. Using dedicated websites and in-person outreach, agencies have worked with the public to rebuild communities after Hurricane Sandy, improve methods to find asteroids that could threaten the Earth, and reduce the amount of time...