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WeGov

Gezi Park and The Turkey Uprising As You've Never Seen It Before

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, August 30 2013

Still from Taksim Commune

The film opens with the sound of explosive clapping, drumming and chanting. The first images are of destroyed streets, smoke blossoming from an improvised barricade and men standing defiantly on a pile of bricks. Then a shot of an injured man being carried by four others, all with their mouths and noses covered by scarves or masks. These are the opening scenes of Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and The Uprising In Turkey, a short documentary that captures not only the conflict that marred the protest, but the jubilation and energy that defined it first.

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WeGov

Tunisian Activist Thanks Chelsea Manning For Sparking The Arab Spring

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, August 29 2013

Manning (Wikipedia)

Sami Ben Gharbia, the Founding Director of Global Voices Advocacy and co-founder of the citizen journalism blog nawaat.org, published a tribute to Chelsea Manning, previously known as Bradley Manning, on Medium yesterday. In it he calls her a deity of a “new mythology,” and an inspirational and iconic figure. It is really the story of TuniLeaks and the beginning of the Arab Spring, told by an active participant, but framed as an illustration of the effect that Manning has had by releasing those infamous cables. Read More

WeGov

The Open Data Tool That's Getting Thousands All Over Africa to the Polls

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, August 28 2013

Screenshot of GoToVote! ZW

A “get out the vote” initiative that began in Kenya is spreading across Africa to countries like Ghana, South Africa and now Zimbabwe. On July 31, Zimbabwe's election day, thousands of voters knew where to go because of a simple online tool called GoToVote! ZW. It saved those citizens the usual hassle of searching for their polling station.

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WeGov

Canada's First Hackathon for International Development

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, August 27 2013

This weekend nearly 40 Canadians came together for their country's first ever hackathon for International Development, sponsored by the nonprofit Citizen Attaché. In only 48 hours the 40 Canadians created six new tools using open data.

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WeGov

The Downsides to Crowdsourcing

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, August 26 2013

Crowdsourcing often makes its way into techPresident coverage, whether in a story about crisis mapping or election reporting. It has been a real boon for NGOs and government offices alike. Still, there are limits to the usefulness of crowdsourced information that must be acknowledged.

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WeGov

A Hackday For Teen Girls Tries to Close Gender Gap in India's Tech Sector

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, August 26 2013

More than 200 bright young girls came together at the Satvika 2013 technology conference last week for a hackday created just for them. It is one way entrepreneur Deepak Ravindran is pushing to close the gender gap in India's technology sector.

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WeGov

Bribespot Thailand: Effective Anti-Corruption Tool Or Mere Outlet For Disgruntled Victims?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, August 23 2013

Screenshot of Bribespot Thailand

An anti-corruption intiative originally from Lithuania has been repurposed in Thailand. Bribespot Thailand officially launched two weeks ago, and already has more than 80 official reports of bribes demanded. The nonprofit hopes the initiative will empower citizens to report bribery in the public sector immediately, and to raise the Thai authorities' awareness of the scope and pervasiveness of petty corruption.

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WeGov

Is Facebook's New Connectivity Platform a Product of Benevolence or Greed?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, August 22 2013

Facebook announced this week the launch of internet.org, an initiative to connect “the next five billion people,” according to a white paper by Mark Zuckerberg. In it he contends that connectivity is a human right, at least basic services like messaging, social networks, and search engines. Some are sure to be skeptical of Zuckerberg's benevolence, since he has already been accused of trying to take over the world wide web. Even more damning, the day following Facebook's announcement, a piece published in The Guardian suggested that Facebook's monopoly in Burma is hindering the progress of media.

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WeGov

Crisis Mapping Becomes De Rigueur Tropical Storm Response in Philippines

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, August 21 2013

Screenshot of the Google map of the three day accumulated rainfall

When the Philippines suffered severe flooding last August, crisis responders used Twitter hashtags and a Google Doc to track calls for help and successful rescues. This year, in the wake of Tropical Storm Maring, Filipinos are using an official portal, through which anyone can submit a rescue request online or by text message which is then mapped. The same hashtags active last year are organizing the conversation this year, too: #rescuePH, #floodPH, #reliefPH and, in the event of a successful rescue, #SafeNow.

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WeGov

How Governments Should Release Open Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, August 20 2013

When releasing data, governments should know that format matters almost as much as content. If it is clean, well organized, complete and in a machine-readable format, even a nonprogrammer can make good use of it. A recent post from Craig Thomler, who blogs about eGovernment and Gov 2.0 in Australia, illustrates this point.

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