Crowdsourcing Expert Capacity in Congress Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown University

 

This project, undertaken by Lorelei Kelly, is using a "massively parallel" approach (our term) for addressing the the bad lack of knowledge which stymies good decision making at the Federal Level.  Lorelei's description follows:

Objective: [To] allow Members of Congress to draw upon the deep reservoirs of substantive knowledge held by constituents for the purposes of lawmaking.

Members of Congress have close connections with their districts, and information arising from local organizations (e.g., professional groups, academia, industry and constituents with relevant expertise like retirees, veterans or students) is highly valuable to them.  Today, congressional staff capacity is at a historic low, while at the same time constituents in districts are often well equipped to address the underlying policy questions that Congress seeks to solve.

 This research will highlight promising and effective practices to enhance public policy formulation by bolstering congressional access to constituent expertise.  We envision a deliberative process utilizing new digital data methods, whereby congressional offices gather input that is both more systematic and agile in order to supplement a Member’s existing resources.  We believe that networked knowledge will be a critical component for modernizing the workflow of our legislature and making American democracy more resilient.  Our end goal is to bring citizens more fully into the process of self-government so that Congress receives information beyond what might be available from DC-based influence groups and narrow private interests.

More information and more of Lorelei's articles are available at: