Open Government Feed

March 15, 2011


HHS @ SXSWi Part 1: Sound bites

By Read Holman, New Media Strategist, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services (Cross-posted from the HHS Center for New Media Blog)


I’m writing from Austin, Texas, the capital of the Lone Star State, checking in from South by Southwest Interactive, or SXSWi. For those of you who don’t know, SXSWi Exit disclaimer is one of the biggest technology conferences in the world. I’ve met people from California to Nova Scotia, from South Korea to Hamburg, Germany. Over 10,000 people are here, including a number of people from HHS here to observe trends in technology, meet innovators outside of our normal circle, and to hear presentations from some of the smartest people in the industry.

With over 1,000 panels, sessions and events with a wide range of topics, it’s difficult to keep track of even a fraction of the activities. Sessions vary from Your Computer is the Next Wonderdrug Exit disclaimer and Offline America, Why We Have A Digital Divide Exit disclaimer to Stop the Bleeding! Immersive Simulations for Surgeons Exit disclaimer, Inclusive Mobility: How to Make Mobile Apps Accessible Exit disclaimer, and The Behavior Change Checklist. Down with Gamefication Exit disclaimer, and well... a lot more.

A number of panels representing HHS were well attended. Including: Health Data Everywhere: Not a Drop to Link? Exit disclaimer, Minority Report: Social Media for Decreasing Health Disparities Exit disclaimer, and How Open Health Data Can Improve America's Health Exit disclaimer.

I’m still internalizing the information, presentations, and personal conversations I’ve had, so deeper reflection is still to come. But here are a few specific takeaways and sound-bites I’ve been chewing on thus far:

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January 11, 2011


Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council: Grateful Collaboration

By Miguel Gomez, Director, Deb LeBel, Partnerships Specialist, and Cathy Thomas, Technical Director


FHAWC members at the 2011 annual meeting in Washington, DC.

As we start the New Year, we're launching a series about new media planning. In upcoming weeks we'll be hearing from our community and Federal colleagues about steps they are taking to implement a new media strategy. At we use new media strategies to provide access to Federal HIV information, policies (e.g. the National HIV/AIDS Strategy), programs, and resources. In order to best do this, we receive planning guidance from a cross-agency planning group called the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council (FHAWC).

The Council includes Web, subject matter experts (content), and communications leads from over twenty programs, agencies and offices, representing HIV programs across the U.S. Government. Members plan and implement Federal new media efforts around HIV.  In addition, the Council promotes coordination and collaboration to improve delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment messages and services via new media.  The team convenes the Council's monthly conference calls and coordinates an annual in-person meeting.

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October 29, 2010


World Problems + Your Solutions =

By Read Holman, New Media Strategist at U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Beta.  Government Challenges, Your Solutions

Good ideas are everywhere. No organization, individual, or government has a monopoly on good ideas. Recognizing this, a new federal website,, has been created as a place where the public and government can solve problems together. Federal agencies post “challenges”, or contests, on the site, and members of the public can offer innovative solutions to these challenges. Challenges are great for encouraging public/private partnerships, as well as stimulating an interest and innovation around a particular topic. was launched in response to the Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive, which calls for the Federal government to increase transparency, participation, and collaboration with the public. Check out the White House Guidance on the Use of Challenges and Prizes to Promote Open Government (PDF 98 KB).

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April 08, 2010


Open Government Initiative

At, we are committed to and excited about the Open Government Initiative and wanted to share this blog post announcing the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Inaugural Open Government Plan. This initiative is important to the HIV community and for public health.

Posted by Norm Eisen (Cross-posted from the White House Open Government Blog)

Open GOV

Today, U.S. departments and agencies are releasing their Open Government Plans — another historic milestone in President Obama’s campaign to change Washington.

For too many years, Washington has resisted the oversight of the American public, resulting in difficulties in finding information, taxpayer dollars disappearing without a trace, and lobbyists wielding undue influence. For Americans, business as usual in Washington has reinforced the belief that the government benefits the special interests and the well-connected at the expense of the American people.

No more. Since coming to office, the President has launched a series of initiatives to let the sunshine in, including posting White House visitor records, disclosing lobbyist contacts regarding stimulus funds, and launching and That’s why independent groups recently gave the Administration an A grade for transparency.

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January 12, 2010


President Obama's Open Government Directive: Transparency, Participation, Collaboration

By Miguel Gomez

In my post last week, I mentioned President Obama’s Open Government Initiative, focused on making a “transparent, participatory, and collaborative” government. You may also have heard about some of the steps already made towards greater transparency in Government — take a look at the Open Government Innovations Gallery, to see some examples of new ways in which agencies across the Executive branch are using transparency, participation, and collaboration to achieve their mission.

To continue the Open Government Initiative, last month The White House issued the Open Government Directive to encourage transparency and civic engagement. The Directive requires all government agencies to launch an Open Government webpage that incorporates a public feedback mechanism. Agencies are required to solicit input from the public as we create our Open Government plans. Agencies must launch an Open Government webpage by February 6, 2010, and Open Government Plans are due April 7, 2010.

Continue reading "President Obama's Open Government Directive: Transparency, Participation, Collaboration" »


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