A Citizen’s Guide to Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0

Engaged citizens want clear, credible information from the government about how it’s carrying on its business. They don’t want to thumb through thousands of files or wait month after month or go through the rigors of filing claims through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). They want government information, services, and communication to be forthcoming and swift. The Open Government, Government 2.0, and E-Governance movements fill the need of connecting citizens with the government and each other to foster a more open, collaborative, and efficient public sector through the use of new technology and public data.

Open Government is defined by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) as “the transparency of government actions, the accessibility of government services and information, and the responsiveness of government to new ideas, demands and needs.”

E-Government is defined by the World Bank as “the use by government agencies of information technologies that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management. The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and/or cost reductions.”

Government 2.0 is defined by Gartner Research as “the use of Web 2.0 technologies, both internally and externally, to increase collaboration and transparency and potentially transform the way government agencies relate to citizens and operate.”

Open Government and E-Government paved the way for Government 2.0, a collaborative technology whose mission is to improve government transparency and efficiency. How? Gov 2.0 has been called the next generation of government because it not only utilizes new technologies such as social media, cloud computing, and other apps, it is a means to increase citizen participation.

While some question the logistics of funding, implementing, managing, and securing Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0 projects, advocates—from single-source bloggers to large well-funded groups—don’t show any signs of slowing down. Plans for summits, conferences, new applications, and publications suggest that Open Government, along with all its emerging technology, is here for the long haul.

We have compiled a list of organizations, blogs, guides, and tools to help citizens and public service leaders better understand the Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0 movement.

We welcome any additions to the list that we may have missed in the comments below.


Name Description Category
Act.ly On this site, users can create a petition for almost any cause and then easily distribute it on Twitter. Application
Adriel Hampton: Wired to Share The personal blog of journalist and Gov 2.0 advocate Ariel Hampton, this site tracks the progress of Gov 2.0 activity nationwide. Blog
AT&T Networking and Exchange Blog The Networking Exchange Blog, sponsored by AT&T, features articles about mobility and security issues for state and local governments. Blog
Ben Balter’s Open Source for Government Developed by Gov. 2.0 advocate Ben Balter, this site is a collaborative resource for government employees looking to participate in the open source community. The site’s goal is to increase information sharing and efficiency within government. Resource
Booz | Allen | Hamilton Gov 2.0 Guide Booz Allen Hamilton, a technology consulting firm, presents impact stories on services using technologies on this site, which presents the company’s ideas and visions to evolve the dynamics of government initiatives. Blog
Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch) This site is an open government resource for policymakers, the media, advocacy groups, community organizations, and the public. The Center for Effective Government’s mission is to build an open, accountable government that advances the national priorities defined by an active, informed citizenry. Resource
Center for Technology in Government The Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany works to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaborative problem solving at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. University
Citizens for OpenGov The site is a Google group in which the goal is to assist the nationwide campaign for greater government transparency, from city councils to Capitol Hill. Forum
City of Chicago Data Dictionary Created by the City of Chicago’s Department of Innovation and Chaplin Hill, this database contains detailed information on every data set held by City agencies and departments. Government
City Ethics City Ethics is a non-profit organization formed in 2000. Its purpose is to provide a centralized location for information and resources for all forms of local government ethics programs. Nonprofit
City Sourced CitySourced is a mobile app platform aimed at civic engagement that empowers residents to identify civic issues (public safety, quality of life, environmental issues, etc.) and report them for quick resolution. Application
Code for America A non-profit group helping governments become more connected through Internet technology, Code for America encourages opportunities for public service, both inside and outside government. Nonprofit
Data Portal India Data Portal India is a platform for supporting the Open Data Initiative for the Indian government. It intends to increase transparency in the functioning of government and also opens avenues for innovative uses of government data. Government
Data.gov Data.gov allows the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the U.S. government. Data.gov provides descriptions of the federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. Government
Dave Fletcher’s Government and Technology Weblog, v. 2.0 This government and technology blog founded by David Fletcher discusses and informally monitors Utah’s digital government activities. Blog
DC Apps This site was developed by the Washington, D.C., government and includes more than a dozen apps for helping citizens make the most of city services. Apps include D.C. Police Crime Mapping, local transportation information, and D.C. Atlas. Government
DC Open Government Coalition The D.C. Open Government Coalition is an advocacy group advocates for transparency and accessibility in D.C. government. Nonprofit
Démocratie Ouverte: L’Open Blog A citizen led initiative to promote open government in francophone countries. Blog
Digital Society Lab: Centre for E-Governance Hosted by Danube University Krems University for Continuing Education, this site focuses on e-governance, featuring news and analysis with an international perspective. Resource
DigitalGov Hosted by GSA’s Center for Excellence in Digital Government, this blog discusses using digital tools to deliver agency-mission, customer-focused experiences in government. Blog
Do Tank A project of New York Law School, Do Tank projects address the role of legal and political institutions, social and business practices, and the visual and graphical technologies. Its goal is to strengthen the ability of groups to solve problems and govern themselves by designing software and legal code to promote collaboration. Education
eGov AU The eGovAU blog provides news, practical advice, support and commentary on Government 2.0, eGovernment and public sector innovation across Australia. Blog
e.Republic e.Republic is a publishing, research, event, and new media company focused on the state and local government and education markets. Its publications include: Governing, Government Technology, and Emergency Magazine, among others. Publication
Electorate.me Electorate.Me is social media platform that allows citizens to discuss the social and political issues that affect them in their communities. The site is built around the communities people live and vote in: state, county, city, and school district. Application
FCW – The Business of Federal Technology FCW is a news and information site that provides federal technology executives with information, ideas, and strategies to navigate the federal government. Publication
fedscoop Fed Scoop is a media company focused on government technology, as well as a news source and platform for education and collaboration. Publication
FedSpending.org This site, a project of the Center for Effective Government, is dedicated to tracking U.S. federal government spending. Nonprofit
FierceGovernmentIT A publication of FierceMarkets, FierceGovernmentIT tracks technological developments in the U.S. government, specifically in the areas of IT, government cloud computing, cyber security, and open government. Publication
Fix My Street The Fix My Street platform is an open source project to help people run websites for reporting common street problems, such as potholes and broken street lights. Application
Fixing Potholes Matt Miszewski’s global open government blog discusses politics, open government, and other related issues. Blog
Follow the Money The National Institute on Money in State Politics maintains and monitors statistics for state-level candidates in primary and general elections. It provides information on the influence of campaign money on state-level elections, public policy, and how money is spent. Nonprofit
FutureGov FutureGov is a digital consulting firm in the U.K. that works with governments to use technology toward improving public services. Their blog explores issues in digital government. Blog
FutureGov.asia FutureGov is a publication aimed at informing readers about the governance, efficiency, and citizen engagement of public sector organizations in Asia and the Middle East. Blog
GCN GCN delivers technology assessments, recommendations, and case studies to support public sector IT managers who are responsible for technology solutions. Publication
Global Integrity Global Integrity is an innovation lab that produces research and creates technology to advance the work of a global network of civic, public, and private reformers pursuing increased transparency and accountability in governments. Nonprofit
Google Apps for Government This site is Google’s cloud-based software suite optimized for government organizations. Application
Gov 2.0 and Gov 3.0 Thoughts Alan Silberberg’s blog about Gov 2.0 and relevant upcoming conferences and speakers. Blog
Gov 2.0 Radio Gov 2.0 Radio is a podcast on “connected government” in all its forms: E-Gov, Gov 2.0, Open Gov and more. Blog
Gov 2.0 Watch Run by the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, this blog focuses on helping solve public problems by promoting citizen engagement. University
Governing’s Tech Talk Column A section of Governing magazine’s online portal, Tech Talk focuses on government and technology issues. The publication seeks to advance and improve government performance and outcomes through research, support, and education. Publication
Government 2.0 – Best Practices Wiki Mike Kujawski created this site to compile a central list of current initiatives involving social media engagement by governments around the world. Resource
Government 2.0 Class This is a course blog for the PPA730 Government 2.0 class taught by Professor Ines Mergel at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. The blog posts comments and ideas from MPA, MAIR, and EMPA students studying the use of social media in the public sector. University
Government 2.0 Club A community for social media engagement for governments around the world. Nonprofit
Government 2.0 Guide – Australian Government Information Management Office This site was created by the Australian Government Information Management Office to foster the efficient use of information and communications technology (ICT) by Australian government departments and agencies. Government
Government Technology A division of e.Republic, Government Technology has IT news for state, local, and city government, and includes government events, videos, and articles. Publication
GovFresh GovFresh was founded by Luke Fretwell, an advocate for technology in civic life, and features public servant innovators, civic entrepreneurs, and the ideas and technology changing the way government works. Blog
GovLab The Governance Lab (the GovLab), housed in New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, is an organization that designs, studies and implements experimental, technology-enabled solutions that advance a collaborative, networked approach to re-invent existing democratic institutions and processes of governance. University
GovLoop GovLoop is an online social network for people in and around government. The community includes those in federal, state, and local governments, as well as students, government contractors, and individuals interested in government service. Social Network
GovTrack GovTrack.us is a tool created by Civic Impulse, LLC to engage public research and follow legislation in the United States Congress and state legislatures. Its goal is to promote government transparency and civic engagement through technology. Application
GovWin Produced by Deltek, this site aims to support awareness and understanding of issues impacting government and government contractors. Blog
HM Government E-petitions E-petitions allows users to influence government and Parliament in the U.K. Readers are able to create e-petitions for any concern being discussed in Parliament; if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, the concern will be considered for debate in the House of Commons. Government
IAP2 IAP2 — the International Association for Public Participation — is an international organization with the goal of advancing the practice of public participation among citizens, governments, and institutions. Nonprofit
Influence Explorer Influence Explorer, a project of the Sunlight Foundation, provides an overview of campaign finance, lobbying, earmark, contractor misconduct, and federal spending data. Application
Knowledge Hub Knowledge Hub is the U.K. Local Government Association’s professional social network, which helps people in local government connect and share in a secure online environment. Government
LegiStorm LegiStorm is a nonpartisan organization whose goal is to provide U.S. Congress salary, financial, and contact information to the public. The site has expanded to include information on Capitol Hill staffers. Resource
MapLight MapLight is a nonpartisan research organization that provides information on how finance influences politics in the U.S. Congress and in the California and Wisconsin state legislatures. It provides tools that connect data on campaign contributions, politicians, legislative votes, industries, companies, and more to show patterns of influence. Nonprofit
MeriTalk MeriTalk is an online community and resource for government IT. Focusing on governmental issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Cloud Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Data Center Exchange, which are all platforms dedicated to support public–private dialogue and collaboration. Social Network
Microsoft’s Open Government and Gov 2.0 Guide This Microsoft website includes articles, tools, guides, and web solutions for Open Government and Gov 2.0. Resource
MuniGov 2.0 MuniGov 2.0 is a coalition of federal, state, local, municipal, and international governments focused on exploring the use and principles of Web 2.0 in an effort to improve citizen services and communication via technology. Social Network
mySociety mySociety’s mission is to help people become civically and democratically powerful. The organization builds websites that make it easy for people to write to their politicians, and also provides free consultancy and develops free, open source software. Application
NASA’s Open Government Initiative The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s collaborative platform for the open government community to share success stories and projects NASA employees and contractors are working on. Government
NASTD Blog The National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) works to advance the effective use of information technology and services to improve the operation of state government. NASTD represents information technology professionals from the 50 states who manage government IT services and facilities for state agencies and other public entities, often including hospitals, prisons, colleges, and universities. Blog
National Archives Open Government This site provides updates on transparency, participation, and collaboration from the National Archives and Records Administration. Government
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation Resource Center This site includes NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher’s list of what she considers to be the best books, guides, and tools about dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement. Resource
NationBuilder Founded by previous Business.com CTO Jim Gilliam, NationBuilder is an online community organizing system dedicated to empowering leaders with the tools they need to influence change. Application
New Media and the Air Force Guide New Media and the Air Force Guide helps entry-level air force personnel tell their U.S. Air Force stories to a broader audience using Internet tools. Resource
Nextgov Nextgov is an information resource for federal technology decision-makers. Through news, analysis, and insights from journalists and other sources, Nextgov provides information on technology and government. Publication
Open Forum Foundation – 20 Basics of Open Government A small nonprofit based in Washington, DC, the Open Forum Foundation works both domestically and internationally on citizen engagement, open government, and the complexities of the culture change that these ideas and the advancement of technology are pushing governments into. The 20 Basics of Open Government resource was created to answer the questions: Why should citizens care about open government? How do all the different aspects of open government work together? Resource
Open Government – State of Tennessee This Tennessee government page tracks information about services and local municipal spending. Government
Open Government Data This site seeks to serve as a hub for the open government community around the world. The Open Knowledge Foundation acts as a community that both creates open data and helps others to do the same. Resource
Open Government Initiative The website of the White House provides speeches, policies, initiatives, and milestones regarding the Obama administration’s directives and vision on ensuring an open government. Government
Open Government Partnership The Open Government Partnership is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Nonprofit
Open Government Platform OGPL is a joint project from the governments of India and the United States to promote transparency and greater citizen engagement by making more government data, documents, tools, and processes publicly available. Government
Open Knowledge Network Foundation The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) is a non-profit organisation based in Cambridge, UK and was founded in 2004. OKF is dedicated to promoting open data and open content in all their forms – including government data, publicly funded research and public domain cultural content. Nonprofit
Open Local Illinois Open Local Illinois is a nonprofit education organization that works to educate residents on local government practices through research. Nonprofit
Open Raleigh Open Raleigh is an open government data portal that grants citizens access to the city’s datasets in a user friendly format. Government
Open Secrets: The Center for Responsive Politics The Center for Responsive Politics is a research group that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent, and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry, and a more transparent and responsive government. Nonprofit
Open311 Run by nonprofit organization OpenPlans, this website seeks to facilitate an international effort to build open interoperable systems that allow citizens to more directly interact with their cities. Nonprofit
OpenCongress OpenCongress is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public resource that brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give readers more information about pending legislation. Resource
OpenGov Playbook This workspace is for open government practitioners at the federal, state, and local levels to share questions and effective practices about open government. Forum
OpenPublic OpenPublic is an organization whose site provides a content management system specially designed for open government goals. Application
OpenSource.com/Government A product of Red Hat, this blog looks at the intersection of open source and government with a focus on how government can cultivate communities. Blog
OpenSource.gov The Open Source Center (OSC) provides foreign open source intelligence, including information on foreign political, military, economic, and technical issues. Government
OpentheGovernment.org OpenTheGovernment.org is a coalition of 80+ organizations united to make the federal government more open and accountable. They were formed in 2003 to help organize and amplify the voices of government groups, environmentalists, journalists, library and consumer groups, labor, and others who support open government. Nonprofit
P2P Foundation Government 2.0 Wiki The P2P Foundation is an international organization focused on studying, researching, documenting, and promoting peer-to-peer practices. Resource
Personal Democracy Run by entrepreneur and technology strategist Andrew Rasiej, this site promotes citizen engagement, including new ideas, tools, and practices. Publication
Project Vote Smart A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to ensure a system of checks and balances in candidates and their campaigns, Vote Smart’s goal is to provide citizens with reliable information to make an informed voting choice. Nonprofit
Public.Resource.org This site is a collection of information and resources, including videos, aimed at offering citizens a look into government happenings. Application
PublicequalsOnline A product of the Sunlight Foundation, PublicEqualsOnline is a national, nonpartisan campaign seeking to create a transparent government built on open data and information. Nonprofit
Publicyte This is Microsoft’s corporate blog where employees and subject matter experts discuss how the entrepreneurial spirit impacts government, politics, education, and nonprofits. Blog
Smarter Cities Tumblr IBM’s user-generated Tumblr is focused on how to make cities smarter. Blog
Social Media in the Public Sector This site, run by Ines Mercel, assistant professor of public administration at Syracuse University, looks at social media policies. It gives a guide and references to help readers move through new media strategies and policies within their own organizations. University
SPUR: Ideas and Action for a Better City Through research, education, and advocacy, SPUR — a nonprofit organization — promotes strong planning and transparent government in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nonprofit
Stanford Social Innovation Review Stanford Social Innovation Review is an award-winning magazine covering strategies for nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses. University
Sunlight Foundation The Sunlight Foundations is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that develops and encourages new government policies that promote transparency and accessibility. Nonprofit
Symantec Public Sector Forum This forum offers users a platform to exchange information and ideas relating to federal, state, and local government as well as defense, intelligence, and education. Forum
Tech President A content platform for PersonalDemocracy.com, TechPresident covers how political campaigns — local, congressional, and state — and voters are using the web to affect voting outcomes. Publication
The Business of Government Blog This blog is a publication from the IBM Center for the Business of Government focused on management issues facing governments today, including e-Government, financial management, human capital management, as well as managing for performance and results. Blog
The Civic Commons The Civic Commons aims to bring people together with conversation and emerging technology, and provides tools and a platform for citizens to connect with and inform one another and to take action. Social Network
The Gov IT Wiki The site serves as a resource for public sector information technology, procurement, and business intelligence. Resource
The Huffington Post Gov 2.0 Blog Alan Silberberg, a well-known blogger on transparency issues, writes on the progress of Gov 2.0. Publication
The Open Government Guide The Open Government Guide from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is a complete compendium of information on states’ open records and open meetings laws. Resource
The U.S. Congress Votes Database The U.S. Congress Votes Database from The Washington Post documents every vote made by every member of the House and Senate since 1991. Data is pulled from several sources, including the House clerk, the U.S. Senate and the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. Resource
Transparency Bloggers This Google group is a space where citizen journalists and bloggers can express ideas and give input on government 2.0. Forum
TransparencyCamp TransparencyCamp is a yearly gathering on the topic of open government. The conference seeks to develop strategies that help citizen use new technologies to be more active and informed in government issues. The site contains information and resources. Nonprofit
Tweet Congress This site is part of an effort to encourage Congress and its staff to converse with citizens via Twitter. Application
United Nations E-Government Development Database The United Nations Public Administration Network promotes the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and practices throughout the world by means of information communication technologies, sound public policies, and effective public administration. Resource
USA Spending A government site that provides information on federal spending as mandated by The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (2006). Government
Utah Data The state of Utah’s open government data portal. Government
Washington State Open Government Part of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, this site gives information about the state’s open government initiatives. Government
YouTown A product of Seattle-based DotGov, Inc., YouTown makes government data accessible through location-based mobile technologies. The mobiles app provides community information, including events, news, maps, and services. Application
ZDNet Government Hosted by CBS Interactive’s Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz, ZDNet’s government blog discusses politics and policy that concern IT professionals. Publication
UNC School of Government’s Legislative Reporting Service For more than 70 years, the UNC School of Government’s Legislative Reporting Service has informed local governments, state agencies, and North Carolina citizens about the status and content of North Carolina legislation. The new Legislative Reporting Service website contains a summary of every bill introduced and every amendment, committee substitute, and conference report adopted. In addition, subscribers can easily search for bill summaries, monitor bills through the “My Bills” feature, and create personalized reports. University