Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation
|Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation|
|Agency executive||Jonathan Greenblatt, Director|
|Parent agency||United States Domestic Policy Council|
The Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation is an office new to the Obama administration, created within the White House to catalyze new and innovative ways of encouraging government to do business differently. Its first director was the economist Sonal Shah. The current director is Jonathan Greenblatt.
In the past, public monies have been directed to social initiatives that are failing or that have little impact. At the same time, non profit organizations have found that that it is easy to secure short-term startup financing, but difficult to secure capital to sustain and expand successful programs. One aim of the new Office is to focus the flow of public resources into established programs that are well run and that have high impact on social problems,and to then use "government dollars as a catalyst to raise sustainable financing from foundations, businesses and individual donors."
The Office has three goals. It is focused on encouraging government to do business differently by (1) promoting service as a solution and a way to develop community leadership, (2) increasing investment in innovative community solutions that demonstrate results; and (3) developing new models of public-private partnerships that help to produce a greater impact than what can be achieved independently by these entities. Coupled with these three goals, the Office also utilizes the following four general principles: (1)An understanding that strong programs and organizations measure and evaluate what works and why, continuously improve on practices with new information, and invest in effective solutions. (2)Utilizing developing solutions that are presented by communities and individuals across the country so that government can support - and not supplant - bottom-up solutions that have an impact. (3)Encouraging broad participation and leadership from several communities across the nation in order to reinvigorate a sense of responsibility for communities for all Americans and become a catalyst for the next generation of leaders. (4)Share the responsibility between all sectors to accomplish the goals that this office has set forth to create a more effective and profound impact on the nation.
The idea for a White House Office for Social Enterprise was first developed at the Center for American Progress by then-Senior Fellow Michele Jolin,. Melody Barnes, who was Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy at the Center for American Progress, is now the Director of the United States Domestic Policy Council, which contains the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
- List of Entities."Executive Office of the President, "WhiteHouse.gov, accessed August 3, 2009.
- Christensen, Clayton. "The White House Office on Social Innovation: A New Paradigm for Solving Social Problems", huffingtonpost.com, July 1, 2009, accessed August 3, 2009.
- The White House. "Staff Bios", WhiteHouse.gov, accessed January 28, 2013.
- Office of Social Innovation and Civil Participation website
- White House: Office of the Press Secretary: President Obama to Request $50 Million to Identify and Expand Effective, Innovative Non-Profits (5 May 2009)
- White House: Blog: Strengthening Civic Participation (11 June 2009)
- White House: Blog: Replicating Success (8 Oct 2009)
- Corporation for National and Community Service