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Public Good

Public Good

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Published by Jay Taber
Training agents for social change requires research and analysis capacity similar to intelligence.
Training agents for social change requires research and analysis capacity similar to intelligence.

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Published by: Jay Taber on May 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/08/2013

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Public Good
According to Paul de Armond, the former research director for thePublic Good Project,  “We are on the cusp of the biggest movement of social transformation that has hit thiscountry in a generation.” Among other things, he noted before his passing, that means thenumber of potential recruits is more than we’ve seen since the 1960s.As I noted in my book War of Ideas, “The challenge for those devoted to training agentsfor social change is in providing programs that focus on the specific tools they will need —to develop research and analysis capacity in a manner similar to intelligence andsecurity conducted during warfare.”As a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists, Public Good Project isoriented towards a constantly evolving set of priorities best suited to the defense of democracy. As a network, Public Good participants function as correspondents andcolleagues.The primary function of a network participant is to communicate, and that’s somethingPublic Good does very well. Public Good has often served as the means by which newconnections were forged.It is a basic premise of Public Good that facts come first. Public Good does investigativeresearch, finding the facts and making them available to the public. What happens next isup to citizen activists, the media and any other interested or responsible parties.Investigative research is the collection of evidence from public sources: public records,eyewitness accounts, interviews, court documents, as well as photographs, video andaudio recordings for primary documentation. Public Good’s standard for primarydocumentation requires that information meet the evidentiary standards of a court of law.Secondary information is collected from books, newspaper stories, and other publications —what people have to say about that evidence.It is a basic requirement of all of Public Good’s investigative research that it be availableto the public for confirmation. There are no secrets.Public Good publication methods include administrative or legal filings, publishing areport, producing an article for the media, or supplying copies of primary documents toresearchers, writers or public officials. In some cases, Public Good has forwardedinformation after publication to responsible agencies for civil or criminal action.Public Good also produces analytic reports which provide a larger context of history and policy analysis drawn from investigative research. These reports, papers and educational pamphlets provide the basis for informed opinion based on knowledge of the issues athand.

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