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WeGov

Transparency Tracker Encourages Aid Orgs to Release Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, July 12 2013

Publish What You Fund will release their 2013 Aid Transparency Index in October, but they already have some information available from their new Aid Transparency Tracker, launched earlier this year. The Tracker uploads information from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), and then based on whether the organization has published or has the intention to publish, ranks them 'Ambitious,' 'Moderately ambitious,' and 'Unambitious.'

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WeGov

Vietnamese Farmers Gather UN Data on Deforestation with Smartphones

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, July 11 2013

Deforestation (Flickr/A.Davey)

A case study in Vietnam found community based monitoring (CBM) an accurate and inexpensive way to gather data on deforestation. The trial was a part of the United Nations Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD). Community members in the Tra Bui commune of the Quang Nam province, armed with Android devices, were able to return data with an accuracy comparable to experts. They were more effective at monitoring small scale degradation from gathering wood for fuel or selective logging than satellite imagery.

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WeGov

New Innovation Officer Leads Technology Initiative at World Bank

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 10 2013

Chris Vein (Flickr/USDAgov)

As their Chief Innovation Officer, Chris Vein is shepherding the World Bank into the digital age.

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WeGov

Internet Search Engine for Muslims Filters 'Forbidden' Content Via Crowdsourcing

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 9 2013

Halalgoogling search results

The Internet is a dangerous place, especially for a Muslim trying to avoid haram (forbidden) content. A new search engine aims to make the Internet a safe, clean and virtuous place for Muslims around the world by filtering out unwanted sites and content. The Beta version of Halalgoogling launched on July 7.

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WeGov

Mixed Messages From Iran On Internet Access

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 8 2013

A week after Iran's minister for communications and information technology told the media the country slowed down the Internet before the presidential election on June 14, the president-elect Hassan Rouhani announced he would reduce online censorship. The mixed messages come along with news or at least rumor of a speedy – and easily restricted – “national Internet.”

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WeGov

The Rise and Fall of Brazil's Twitter Revolution

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 8 2013

Tweets per hour peaked on June 17 at 8 p.m. (Flickr/andresmh)

The protests in Brazil might seem to have come out of nowhere, but the Movimento Passe Libre (Free Pass Movement) has existed for more than eight years. They organized the first few demonstrations, starting at the end of May. It wasn't until June 17, however, when the Twitterverse lit up with tweets about the protests, that people outside the country really began to notice. Less than a week later, however, Twitter usage had died down to pre-protest levels.

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WeGov

Samoan Gov't Climate Change Initiative Includes Crowdsourced 3D Map

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 3 2013

Now imagine it in 3D. Samoa via Wikipedia

Villagers in Samoa are using a three dimensional map to help make decisions about environment initiatives and disaster prevention. The 3D map is the product of a workshop organized by the forestry division of Samoa's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The project is an example of participatory 3D modeling (P3DM), a crowdsourced mapping method relying heavily on local knowledge.

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WeGov

Lima's Participatory Budget Expands to Include All City Residents

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 3 2013

Participatory budgets give voice to Peru's poor, if they know to vote (Wikipedia)

Since 2003, municipalities in Peru have created budgets with input from representatives of civil society called “participating agents.” Last month, however, Lima expanded the participatory budget to include the general population. Approximately 20,000 residents voted; a vast improvement when compared to the handful of “participating agents,” but only a drop in the bucket considering Lima's eight million residents.

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WeGov

Mobile App Helps El Salvador's Police Combat Sky-High Homicide Rates

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 2 2013

The El Salvadorian government has partnered with USAID and Qualcomm to give police officers crime fighting tools on their mobile phones. The program, called Seguridad Inalambrica (Wireless Security) was first tested in Santa Tecla. In September 2012 the program entered phase two and was expanded to cover other municipalities in the San Salvador metropolitan area. In June, a USAID representative spoke to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the reduction of crime in Central America and the Caribbean and mentioned the El Salvador program as one they hope to expand to cover other regions.

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WeGov

Ugandan Program to Promote Safe Sex Makes Things Worse

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 1 2013

Even after Google told them to, some Ugandans did not want to wrap it up (robertelyov/Flickr)

A mobile health initiative meant to encourage safe sex practices in Uganda failed to effect positive change. In fact, researchers found it made the community, on average, even more promiscuous. Read More