Finding New Ways to Engage
Since 2002, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Strategic Plan has been the product of extensive collaboration among leaders, industry stakeholders, the flying public, and employees. Each year, these constituencies have been solicited for their input, and each year their collaboration has helped make the plan better than it otherwise would have been. However, there has never been a way for all of these constituencies to join together in an online conversation in a single space. Typically, the plan would have been sent in hardcopy to industry representatives, posted on the FAA intranet and displayed on the FAA Web page with a “suggestion box” or email address to submit comments. In 2011, FAA was seeking a new way to engage in this dialogue.
The DOT Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) set out to help FAA select an appropriate tool to meet their needs, ultimately deciding on the previously approved IdeaScale. The OCIO worked with FAA’s Strategic Planning Division to establish the requirements and determine whether comments would be monitored (reviewed for acceptability and compliance with the IdeaScale Terms of Participation) or moderated (engaged in a two-way conversation between DOT and the commenter). FAA chose the moderating option, and OCIO trained Strategic Planners from around the FAA in moderating tools techniques.
In just two short weeks, the site went from concept to live and ready for use. In just the first four days, the site received 50 ideas and 51 comments on those ideas. Over the 4-week course of the dialogue, we reached over 200 ideas, more than 300 comments, 1200+ votes – from almost 500 users. The dialogue ended on March 28, 2011 and the final plan will be released in May 2011.
For more information about DOT’s Open Government Initiative please contact the DOT Open Government team at firstname.lastname@example.org.