Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Angela Kline, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Allison H. Turner, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Diane Oyler, Ph.D.


The conceptualization and implementation of open government practices have evolved over the years, encompassing numerous actions that increase transparency, participation, and collaboration. While states mandate some open government practices for municipal governments, they also often implement optional forms independently. This paper examines how four mid-sized cities implement two such optional forms: government boards and open government data.

This study was conducted in three stages. In the first stage, the author used the Democracy Cube framework, a theoretical model developed by Fung (2006), that categorizes various approaches to public participation in government decision-making along three dimensions. This model served as the foundation for conducting an ideal-type analysis of city-established government boards. In the second stage, the author developed a hierarchical taxonomy to classify open government data that the cities published. The content of each dataset, irrespective of public sector domains, served as the basis of the taxonomy. In the final stage, the researcher performed a multi-case embedded case study analysis where the city served as the primary unit of analysis and the public sector domain was the embedded unit of analysis. How the four city governments use both government boards and open government data was examined, as was the relationship between these two open government tools.

Overall, this study offers a detailed and nuanced analysis of open government practices, contributing significantly to the academic literature and practical understanding of these tools in local government contexts.