Introducing “A Guide to Tactical Data Engagement”


Your city is already working to make public data available online. Now, how can city leaders and residents work together to put that data into use?

A Guide to Tactical Data Engagement is a brand new resource released today designed to help city leaders and residents collaborate on increasing the social impact of open government data. Based on the core concepts of human-centered design and tactical urbanism, this approach challenges city halls to make open data programs more transparent, accountable, and participatory by actively helping residents use open government data to improve their communities.

The new guide outlines a four-step process to help readers complete a resident-informed project, product, or tool that addresses a specific community need:

  • Find a focus area by observing the community
  • Refine use cases by interviewing stakeholders
  • Design a plan by coordinating with target users
  • Implement an intervention by collaborating with actual users

Readers can carry out each of these steps “tactically” — using lightweight, adaptable, and inexpensive tactics that can realistically fit within a city hall’s or community’s unique constraints and capacities. The tactics are drawn from examples of good resident engagement around the country, and ensure that in every step, residents are collaborators in determining promising opportunities for impact through the community use of open government data.

Read the new guide to see the full process, including specific ideas at each step of the way to help your community come together and use open data to solve problems, together.

Join the kickoff conversation this afternoon

To celebrate the release of our new guide, we’re hosting a kickoff webinar all about Tactical Data Engagement today at 1 PM EDT. Hear from the Sunlight staff who wrote the guide as well as practitioners who are using the strategies we outline. Speaking during the event will be Stephen Larrick, Open Cities Director at the Sunlight Foundation; Kara Kratowicz, Data Projects Coordinator at the City of Madison, WI; Emily Herrick, Service Designer at Reboot; and April Urban, Research Associate at Case Western Reserve University’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.

If you have questions about the new guide or ideas to share with our panelists, tweet them at the hashtag #TacticalData. We’ll discuss them on the webinar this afternoon, and hope you can join us then.