The League of Women Voters has published a primer titled, Observing Your Government in Action. The League of Women Voters actively monitors public meetings to ensure that local governments are conducting public meetings transparently. It was funded by a grant from the Herb Block Foundation.
"Protecting our right to know is integral to the health of our democracy. Decisions that determine how our schools will be run, at what level community safety programs will be funded, and how land in our towns will be used impact our lives and are vital to our well-being. These kinds of decisions need to be made with public input and oversight. One important way to ensure that is to observe government meetings."
A copy of Observing Your Government in Action can be found here: http://www.lwv.org/Content/ContentGroups/Projects/OpennessinGovernment/ObserverCorps/observercorps2007.pdf