USAID Convenes Panel on Opening the Federal Government to Innovations

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 16, 2009
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON D.C. - On Tuesday, innovation leaders from the White House, NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State convened for an interactive panel called Open Innovation for Government: Answering President Obama's Call for More Open, Effective Public Service.

The panelists were Dr. Beth Noveck, who leads President Obama's Open Government directive for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Doug Comstock, Director of the Innovative Partnerships Program at NASA, Karen Turner, Office of Development Partners and Acting Director of the Global Development Commons and Dr. Jeremy Curtin, Coordinator of the International Information Programs from the Department of State. The panelists discussed the idea that creating incentives and processes that enable citizens to offer feedback and co-create solutions with government employees, in addition to offering ways to participate and collaborate, can help federal government agencies to innovate and to achieve their core mandates for the American people.

Dr. Noveck framed the discussion around the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration and addressed the challenge the federal government faces in how to encourage and foster innovations. "We are here today to listen, to garner feedback, to celebrate these innovators and to hold up as champions the kind of work that we are doing, and to encourage more," said Dr. Noveck.

"At USAID, we are in a space where risk-taking is particularly appropriate, and we should enable it," said Karen Turner. "The Agency's Global Development Commons efforts enable innovations that deliver better development."

The interactive discussion was hosted by the Post-conflict Reconstruction (PCR) Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the U.S. Agency for International Development. A live streaming webcast featured chat and an archived version is available at . More than 40 people participated online, asking questions from as far as Singapore in the hopes that they could help shape policy.

USAID's Global Development Commons activities promote innovation in international development through knowledge sharing, partnerships, and collaborative problem-solving. To learn more and join the Global Development Commons, visit . To learn more about USAID and its programs, visit .