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WeGov

[Report] Measuring the Impact of Tech for Accountability Initiatives

BY the engine room | Tuesday, May 20 2014

Tech and for accountability initiatives tend to operate with very limited resources. Monitoring and evaluation doesn’t always get prioritized, and when it does, documentation presents additional costs and hurdles. It doesn’t help that there is no agreement on how to go about measuring the impact of technology (or the improvements in governance and accountability for that matter). In fact, we we didn’t find a single framework or methodology that could be used out-of-the-box for measuring the impact of technology and accountability programming. As a result, we produced a guide that will help tech for accountability initiatives to develop their own frameworks for monitoring and learning in real time. As far as we know, this is the first guide of its kind, that specifically targets small initiatives with limited resources, to help them develop tailored solutions and set their own agendas for measurement. Read More

WeGov

Spanish Politicians Call For More Censored Net After Political Assassination

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, May 19 2014

Isabel Carrasco did not die because of social media. The Spanish politician was murdered by a 55 year old woman who blamed Carrasco for her daughter's dismissal from the León provincial council in 2011, a snub that was dragged out for years in court over a payment dispute that was eventually decided in the council's favor just days before the murder took place. It is clearly a straightforward, if deranged and poorly planned, revenge killing. Why it has led Spanish politicians to call for the policing of social media is more of a mystery.

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WeGov

Weekly Readings: "Mapocalypse"

BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Monday, May 19 2014

Mapping where you might die in an earthquake; Edward Snowden to testify before German parliament but in Russia or Germany?; Australia's social media superhero; India's social media-driven election; and much more. Read More

WeGov

European Parliament Releasing EU Election Results in Open Data Format

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, May 19 2014

2009 European Election Results

The European Parliament will be releasing result information from this upcoming weekend's EU parliamentary elections in open data format, it announced in a press release at the end of last week. Read More

#PDF14 Preview: An Interview with Andrea Chalupa, Founder of DigitalMaidan

BY Sonia Roubini | Monday, May 19 2014

Andrea Chalupa is a founder of DigitalMaidan, an online movement that made the Ukrainian protests the #1 trending topic on Twitter worldwide, She is also a journalist and the author of Orwell and The Refugees: The Untold ... Read More

First POST: Undermining

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, May 19 2014

Polling suggests squishy support for net neutrality in the US; Cisco isn't happy about the NSA hacking its hardware; "Nerds for Nature" is hacking the physical landscape; and much, much more. Read More

Announcing the #PDF14 Tumblr Fellows!

BY Sonia Roubini | Friday, May 16 2014

We at PDF are happy to announce our 2014 batch of Tumblr fellows. For the past few years, PDF has teamed up with Tumblr to offer registration fellowships to ten of the brightest and most qualified minds working to creatively tackle issues at the intersection of technology and politics. The 2014 Tumblr fellows are innovators, creators, writers, students, and all around exciting people, and we’re pleased that they’ll be joining us at #PDF14. Read More

Fleets of Sailing Robots to Help Research & Protect the Oceans

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, May 16 2014

What Protei could eventually do to help clean up plastics (Screenshot of TEDtalk below)

Imagine fleets of small boats cruising around the ocean, monitoring levels of plastic, oil and radioactivity, and eventually helping to clean up the ocean, and all completely unmanned. That may not be as far from reality as one might think. Scoutbots, a company that develops and builds open hardware technologies for environmental stewardship, recently began selling the first commercial prototype of its radio-controlled sailing robot, the Protei 011 “Optimist.” It is kind of like a seafaring drone.

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#PDF14 Speaker Preview: An Interview with David Moore, Executive Director of the Participatory Politics Foundation.

BY Sonia Roubini | Friday, May 16 2014

This speaker preview features David Moore, a ten year PDF veteran and the Executive Director of the Participatory Politics Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to increase civic engagement. PPF's ... Read More

First POST: On the Home Front

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, May 16 2014

The home page is dead, long live the link!; the net neutrality fight's next chapter; why 2016 presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan may have some domain name problems; and much, much more Read More

News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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