U.S. Public Participation Playbook

A resource for government managers to effectively evaluate and build better services through public participation.
Man points to clipboard illustration with customer satisfaction survey

Evaluate and report

Learn the importance of being transparent when reporting public participation.

Reading time: 2 minutes

Play 12: Transparently report outcomes and performance of participation

Transparency builds and maintains trust and respect with participants. When government takes an active role in allowing public participation in the decision-making process, accountability is key to maintaining trust of participants, by transparently reporting outcomes and performance of participation on a regular basis. Transparency allows for equal assessment with internal agencies, stakeholders and the public.


  • Establish and communicate where, when and how you will report outcomes and performance.
  • Decide what type of open and accessible formats will be most useful for your audience.
  • Report outcomes on time while participants are still engaged.
  • Explain the importance of transparently reporting outcomes and performance of participation.
  • Encourage others to share findings and outcomes from your program.
  • Encourage continued community dialogue and awareness of lessons learned and outcomes.
  • Recognize the contributions of partners and stakeholders in developing and maintaining your agency’s playbook.

Case studies

  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) used public feedback to develop the agency’s third Open Government Plan. It also reported outcomes of NARA’s previous Open Government Plans.
  • NASA – Disk Detective is a crowdsourcing project whose primary goal is to produce publishable scientific results. It uses citizen science to help astronomers discover embryonic planetary systems, reporting outcomes on time while participants are still engaged.
  • Ford’s Theatre: Remembering Lincoln on HistoryPin – The HistoryPin platform encourages participants to contribute content, share findings and continue community dialogue. Ford’s Theatre is working with a range of partner institutions to collect, digitize and share local responses from the 13 months after former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.


Metrics: How do you know you’re successfully evaluating and reporting outcomes?

  • Highlight performance of participation through use of data visualizations and infographics, illustrating transparent outcome.
  • Quantify outcomes of performance of participation through Town Hall meetings and/or presentations
  • Conduct web research and run social media analytics to analyze ways to report outcomes of participation.
  • Post articles directing users to results of past and current initiatives that encourage and require public participation, and reflect outcomes.