The Observatory

[wooslider slide_page=”stats-slide” slider_type=”slides” limit=”8″ thumbnails=”default” id=”stats” display_content=”false” imageslide=”true”]


Societal institutions at all levels have begun experimenting with innovative practices to collaborate and co-create solutions with citizens. However, we still have a limited conceptual understanding of what opening governance through institutional innovation means and what its impacts may be. Nor is there a systemic effort to capture current practices and what is known on what works.

Under the leadership of Stefaan Verhulst, Chief of Research, the Observatory tracks both the constantly changing world of technology and emerging novel forms of governance. It engages expert observers to identify stories, trends, innovations, and opportunities. Moreover, it provide narratives and language to help translate these innovations into stories for a broader audience.

In essence, the Observatory functions as a “knowledge broker,” acting as an intermediary between the increased need for knowledge and the growing body of information on the practice and impact of opening governance. Toward that end, the Observatory seeks to curate information from a wide variety of sources, structure this content in an intelligent manner, and present it in accessible ways.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 12.46.50 PM

The GovLab Blog

An active platform highlighting the GovLab’s current research, events, and interviews with those who inspire us. Join and contribute to the discussion.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 5.27.34 PM

A curated selection of major developments, findings, and views related to how we improve people’s lives by changing how we govern, delivered weekly.

Subscribe to the Digest here.

If Only We Knew

What are the essential questions that if answered could help accelerate the transformation of how we solve public problems and provide for public goods? What are the issues, from broad categories to specific questions, that need more research attention?

The GovLab Wiki: The Open Governance Knowledge Base

A collaborative, wiki-style repository of information and research at the nexus of technology, governance and citizenship. Contribute to the Knowledge Base here.

The GovLab Selected Readings

An annotated and curated collection of recommended works on key opening governance topics. Our initial Selected Readings lists focus on two central governance innovation categories: Data and Its Uses for Governance and Solving Public Problems with Crowdsourcing.

Data and its uses for Governance


The GovLab Index

Inspired by Harper’s index, GovLab Research will issue on a regular basis a compilation of statistics that reflect the trends, attitudes, behaviors, and environmental settings related to the Open Government and Government 3.0 movements. Click here to contribute to the new GovLab Index by suggesting additional stats and numerical summaries. View all of our Index posts here.



  • The GovLab Index: Open Data – 2018 Edition - By Alexandra Shaw, Michelle Winowatan, Andrew Young, and Stefaan Verhulst Please find below the latest installment in The GovLab Index series, inspired by Harper’s Index. “The GovLab Index: Open Data 2018” provides an update to our previous Open Data installments: The GovLab Index: Open Data, (Updated and Expanded of 2013, The GovLab Index: Open Data […]
  • The GovLab Index: Collective Intelligence - By Hannah Pierce and Audrie Pirkl Please find below the next installment in The GovLab Index series inspired by the Harper’s Index. Following the 2017 Collective Intelligence Conference, this installment highlights outcomes, impacts and trends related to efforts to tap into collective intelligence toward solving public problems. We begin with a selection of statistics across […]
  • The GovLab Index: Open Data – 2016 Edition - By Robert Montano and Prianka Srinivasan Please find below the latest installment in The GovLab Index series, inspired by Harper’s Index. “The GovLab Index: Open Data” provides an update on our previous Open Data installment, and highlights global trends in Open Data and the release of public sector information. Previous installments of the Index include […]


The Open Data Era in Health and Social Care

The Open Data Era in Health and Social CareThe Open Data Era in Health and Social Care
A blueprint for the National Health Service (NHS England) to develop a research and learning programme for the open data era in health and social care
By Stefaan Verhulst, Beth Simone Noveck, Robyn Caplan, Kristy Brown, Claudia Paz
June 2014

Primer on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

icaan-primer-coverICANN Primer
Primer on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
By GovLab Research
October 2013

Smart Cities, Smart Citizens

Smart Cities, Smart Citizens
A Presentation on Smart Communities and the Opportunities of Big Data Given to the International City/County Managers Association
By Beth Noveck
September 2013

Reimagining Governance in Practice

Reimagining Governance in Practice
Benchmarking British Columbia’s Citizen Engagement Efforts
By GovLab Research
May 2013

Toward Metrics for Re(imagining) Governance

towards metrics thumbToward Metrics for Re(imagining) Governance
The Promise and Challenge of Evaluating Innovations in How We Govern
By Aleise Barnett, David Dembo and Stefaan G. Verhulst
April 2013

The GovLab Compendium

Compendium thumbGovLab Compendium
GovLab Blog Posts Spring 2013
By GovLab Research
April 2013

Toward Reimagining Governance

reimagining thumbToward Reimagining Governance
Mapping the pathway toward more effective and engaged governance
By GovLab Research
April 2013

Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data

Aspen ThumbInformation for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data
Re-posted from the Aspen Institute.
By Beth Simone Noveck and Daniel L. Goroff
January 2013


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply