A Recovery Dialogue on IT Solutions: After-Action Report

May 2009 - To many Americans using the site, Recovery.gov is simply a web portal that provides information on government spending related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

However, designing and building the infrastructure to support a complex website like Recovery.gov is a daunting task requiring real-time information on how Recovery Act funds are being spent and their tangible impact on economic growth and job creation. At the time these challenges were identified, some in Congress called for the convening of a “roundtable of federal, state and private sector IT leaders to come up with a uniform approach to track and account for Recovery Act spending.” To address the issue, the Recovery Board asked the National Academy to host an online dialogue with experts from government and industry in the information technology space. This Dialogue collected ideas and comments around cutting-edge technologies that could help the Recovery Board deliver on its mandate.

Key Findings

This after-action report provides a brief overview of the Recovery Dialogue on IT Solutions. It provides and analyzes key metrics covered in the Dialogue, as well as lessons learned that can be applied to future public consultations in online forums. While the Dialogue was an expression of the Recovery Board’s emphasis on transparency and openness, it was intended to solve a genuine problem: the need to gather innovative ideas and perspectives and survey the landscape of possible solutions, and to do so more quickly, from a broader audience and in a more collaborative way than a standard Request For Information (RFI) process allows.