We believe that effective government should reflect the needs and priorities of the American people, as defined by an informed, engaged citizenry.

Our mission is two-pronged:

Enhance public understanding and appreciation of what government does and how it operates in all of our communications. If we expect our national government to manage large-scale societal challenges, citizens need to believe that government can contribute to the common good, protect the health, safety, and quality of life of all Americans, and manage resources for the future; and citizens need to know to how they can participate in governance decisions between elections.

Protect core governing processes from undue influence by special interests, through analysis, advocacy, and strategic partnerships inside and outside of Washington. We particularly focus on effective implementation of critical public protections, improvements in public spending transparency, and reforms that enhance government performance and public oversight of governance practices.

Effective, accountable government requires elected officials and public employees to put the public interest above special interests and operate with the highest ethical standards. We support reforms that ensure the integrity of the processes and people that we employ to keep the public sector working. To build a more open, responsive, and effective government, we:

  • Promote Active, Open Governance

    In a democracy, citizens have a right to know what their government does, how decisions are made, and how to make their voices heard. We advocate for proactive government disclosure of timely, useful public information that empowers citizen action and helps individuals and organizations effect positive change in their communities.
  • Defend and Improve Standards that Keep America Healthy and Safe

    At its most basic, effective government protects the health, safety, and prosperity of its populace. We advocate for commonsense standards and safeguards, revised to conform to the most up-to-date scientific evidence, adopted in a timely manner, and broadly and effectively enforced – to ensure the quality of our air and water and the safety of food, drugs, consumer products, and workers.
  • Promote Transparent Spending and Revenues that Reflect National Priorities

    An effective government invests in its people, advances opportunities for shared prosperity, and raises the revenues needed to support the public structures that support inclusive economic growth. We advocate for responsible revenue-raising options, more transparency in and oversight of federal spending, and long-term investments in the public infrastructure and services required to ensure every American enjoys a decent quality of life and has an opportunity to succeed.

Examples of Our Work & Successes

The Center for Effective Government conducts policy research; develops and advocates for policy reforms; creates tools to encourage citizen participation and government accountability; and builds broad-based coalitions to advance these values. To ensure the American people understand the vital role of government, we produce and disseminate educational materials. We are a resource for policymakers, the media, advocacy groups, community organizations, and the public. Read more.