Our guest blogger today is Stan Buch, Director of Innovation and Open Government, Office of Chief Information Officer
Blow out the candle, as today marks our first anniversary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Open Government plan – and it’s a milestone we couldn’t have reached without each other.
One year ago today we shared with you how we thought we could better create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all through public participation, collaboration and transparency. Some of our Open Government initiatives are progressing just as we set out in our plan, other programs with your help have evolved in unique and innovative ways no one could have predicted, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Now we’d like to take this opportunity to share with you the results of our commitment, and welcome again your ideas and suggestions on how to move forward.
HUD has progressed since the April 07, 2010 publication of our Open Government Plan, and quickly came to recognize the close alignment between Open Government and Innovation as collective mechanisms for transforming the delivery of mission-critical services. We define innovation as a change in the thought process for doing something resulting in the useful application of new inventions or discoveries. Open Government enables innovation and innovation enables Open Government.
This synergy is manifested in one of our flagship initiatives, the upcoming HUD Innovation Lab. HUD’s Innovation Lab brings together dedicated resources, tools, and techniques that may not otherwise be available to accelerate the development of solutions more efficiently than other available approaches.
But change isn’t just going on within the walls of our department, it’s happening in neighborhoods and communities around the country. To better learn from you and share the thoughts and ideas that shape our mission, we’ve launched our new official blog, The HUDdle. Not only can you use it to find out the latest news, but you can contribute and register your own opinions in our comment section. Most recently we’ve launched a Spanish language translation of the blog to provide even more accessibility for the Hispanic community. If you haven’t already, please take a look and let us know what you think.
Speaking of ideas, it’s been a busy year for our ideation platform, HUD Ideas in Action. Since last April HUD has launched 17 forums on Ideas in Action, the majority of which were open to the public, which generated more than 2200 ideas. Now our program areas have begun implementing many of them in the field. Like with all of our innovative programs, however, Ideas in Action will continue to evolve over the next year to improve the function needed to effectively administrate your contributions. If you have an idea of how you’d like to see that take shape, take a moment to share it with us.
We also launched an international a prize competition with Ashoka Changemakers, the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, and the American Planning Association called “Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities.” This collaborative challenge looks for innovative solutions that engage communities, entrepreneurs, and key institutions in collaborating to integrate and develop affordable, inclusive, and sustainable urban housing that respects the environment, local cultures, and practices.
Of course we’re not just looking to you for new ideas, we’re also expecting them from ourselves, which is why we’re preparing to launch our first internal HUD employee challenge. The challenge itself, still in development, will be selected with input from employees, with submissions judged by both a panel of experts and the votes of all HUD team members.
We could go on from here but the list will get too long for one blog post, even a special anniversary post. Conveniently for times like this, we’ve created a HUD Open Government Progress Report that illustrates the progress of all of our initiatives, where they have been, and where we are looking for them to go with your help.
From the Progress Report you can also learn about our developing homelessness analytics program, our partnerships, collaborations, data releases and more.
The year has gone by quickly, but we hope we’ve got the results to show for it, and for that we have you to thank. Together, we can empower each other to assist communities and neighborhoods across our nation, and deliver HUD’s mission where ever it is needed most. Thank you again, we look forward to your continued participation as our valued partner in finding innovative new ways to tackle our toughest challenges.