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Cyberwarfare's "Cuban Missile Crisis" Moment

BY David Eaves | Tuesday, March 12 2013

It's as if we've entered the Guns of August or Cuban Missile Crisis stage of cyberwarfare — a period where no one knows what act will generate a response, and so acts will keep escalating until a crisis demonstrates what the boundary will be. Read More

WeGov

How Open Data Is Changing The Way Vancouver Shelters Its Homeless

BY David Eaves | Monday, March 4 2013

Vancouver SRO (image: Megaphone Mag/Flickr)

Last month, seemingly out of nowhere, the Province of British Columbia announced it would spend $1 million (in Canadian dollars) to address health and safety violations in a number of the single resident occupancy (SRO) buildings it owns in Vancouver. The reason...? Open data. Read More

WeGov

Hacking Cities With Open Data and Minecraft

BY David Eaves | Tuesday, February 19 2013

I'm excited about how a new set of low cost tools — Minecraft and open data — seem to be increasing the opportunity space for people to rethink their city. Read More

WeGov

CivicOpen: New Name, Old Idea

BY David Eaves | Monday, February 11 2013

Here are a few things open government advocates should remember if they don't want their open-source efforts to repeat past failures. Read More

WeGov

With Open Data, The Transparency Medium Can Matter As Much as the Message

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, January 30 2013

This is going to sound crazy, but bear with me: Transparency matters, even when no one seems to be watching. Read More

WeGov

Nonprofits Should Share Their Data, Too

BY David Eaves | Thursday, January 24 2013

Whenever I'm at a hackathon — or any discussion about open data, really — I'm always disappointed to see that there are few people there from the non-profit sector. Obviously this is a sector with limited resources and capacity, but not without a history of effective open data use. For example, some nonprofits — particularly those that provide housing for the elderly, or engage in advocacy around homelessness — are big consumers of census data as it helps them either plan or spot longer term trends that impact their core issues. Such analysis can help ensure scarce resources are allocated more effectively, enhancing the organization's impact. But there's more that nonprofits could be doing. Rather than just use data others create, shouldn't more nonprofits be sharing their data for like-minded organizations to re-use? Read More

WeGov

What Technology Can and Cannot Do In the Fight Against Corruption

BY David Eaves | Thursday, January 3 2013

There are a slew of newly organized and emergent efforts to tackle various forms of corruption, particularly by using new technology, from the global — such as the Open Government Partnership, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Transparency International — to the very local — such as ipaidabribe and its various clones. These efforts have also benefited from a number of traditional players, like state and independent regulators, apparently becoming more aggressive in enforcing laws. There's a lot to celebrate. But there are a few words of caution I would like to add to the conversation. Read More

WeGov

Dashboard Government: The Politics of Measurement

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, November 28 2012

The other week I was informed that the city of Edmonton, Alberta, published an online dashboard of various metrics that it hopes will both educate residents about the city's services. As more and more of what governments do — from running buses to fixing potholes to processing paper — is managed by computers, there is an ever-increasing capacity to measure, and make public, the results of any given activity. The opportunity to create more accountable systems and governments is real. If we are going to end up with government dashboards all over the place — and frankly, I hope we do — dashboard-makers had better do a bunch of things right. Read More

WeGov

The Geopolitics of the Open Government Partnership in Action

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, November 21 2012

While in Burma, President Barack Obama welcomed the country into the Open Government Partnership — an example of the OGP as part of a global U.S. strategy to forge a set of alliances with key partners around the world. It may also advance transparency and anticorruption through collaboration and new technology — but there are other chess games in progress, too. Read More

WeGov

To App Contest or Not App Contest

BY David Eaves | Thursday, November 15 2012

Ever since the City of Washington DC did Apps for Democracy there have been a running series of skirmishes — that from time to time bubble up into a larger debate — about whether or not app contests, or even hackathons in general, are worthwhile endeavor. I've never been a huge fan of app competitions, but I do think there exist a set of specific conditions under which they can make sense. Ultimately, everything rests on your goal. What do you want to achieve? Read More