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China's New Petitioning Platform: Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom…Online?

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, July 3 2013

Courtyard of Forbidden City (Wikimedia Commons)

On Monday, China’s Communist Party launched an online platform to encourage citizens to post petitions and air their grievances online. The BBC reported, however, that Chinese citizens are expressing via their microblogs that the new online petitioning, which requires users to register their address, will only allow the government to retaliate and better control dissidents. Read More


Tu Parlamento: Italy Launches Platform to Give Citizens a Digital Seat in Parliament

BY Rebecca Chao | Thursday, June 27 2013

The platform aims to get citizens more involved in policy making (image:

Last week, without much fanfare or publicity, 15 members of the Italian Parliament launched Tu Parlamento, a Liquid Feedback platform that allows Italian citizens to comment on proposed bills. it is an initiative led by Laura Puppato, a senator of the Democratic Party. Read More


Twitris: Taking Crisis Mapping to the Next Level

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, June 24 2013

Twitris – the techy marriage of “Twitter” and “Tetris” – is a platform that aims to help civil society win the “game” of big data, creating layers and layers of analysis that provides a holistic picture of an event. Read More


The Thicker China's "Great Firewall" Becomes, the Subtler the Doors to Sneak Through

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, June 19 2013

ABOVE: China's Great Firewall at work (flickr/Chidorian)

As China announces it will tighten restrictions on access to the Internet, Chinese citizens show that they've developed new ways around them. Read More


A “Fix-Rate” for Corruption: Integrity Action Wins the Google Global Impact Award

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, June 14 2013

“From wanachi (“citizen”) to up there,” Emmanuel Dzombo explains with an upward sweep of his hand, is how Integrity Action has begun to reverse the bureaucratic top-down approach that has often blocked development work in Kenya. Dzombo is a local leader in Chengoni, Kenya, a country that ranks towards the very bottom of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index – at 139. The organization believes it could do more, and seems to agree. The Google Impact Challenge will provide the charity with £500,000 that will allow it to develop a mobile application for tracking and collecting data from citizens. Read More