Welcome to MassWatch – a dedicated space that promotes citizen engagement in state and local government. As the late Justice Louis Brandeis said, “the most important political office is that of the private citizen.”

At Pioneer Institute, we promote government transparency. Public access to public information. Without that, maintaining a healthy democracy is impossible. A well-functioning representative democracy relies on citizen engagement. In fact, the Massachusetts State Constitution requires that legislators “at all times” be accountable to the public and that the people have the right to “instruct” their legislators.

That’s why we have created a suite of free websites that allow the public to access to vast amounts of information on state and local governments. Each of these tools features user-friendly queries to help you to navigate the information you want.

Learn how much debt your community’s public pension system is saddled with and how many years it will take to repay it. We’ve graded each of the state’s 105 public pension systems – what grade did your town get?

Are you a local official that wants a way to benchmark your community against its peers or are you a resident that want to know more about your town’s finances? The information you need will be at your fingertips in just a few clicks.

Learn how the MBTA’s performance stacks up against its peer transit agencies. Which agency is the most efficient? Do some modes of transit perform better than others? How can the MBTA improve? Find out here.

Why re-invent the wheel? Visit this innovative clearinghouse where best municipal practices are shared by local leaders and thinkers. Our document archive may have just the answer you’ve been looking for!

Find out what state employees earn, how much state retirees are receiving in pension benefits and what the payments are to the people and companies that do business with the state.

Coming Soon!