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[BackChannel] Unequal Participation: Open Government's Unresolved Dilemma?

BY Tiago Peixoto | Friday, February 15 2013

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, participatory budgeting researcher Tiago Peixoto writes that research in New York has revealed a way to involve people in governance that is far more inclusive than the way city decision-making currently operates. Read More

New Data: Democrats and Republicans, Who Shows us the Stimulus Online?

BY Tiago Peixoto | Friday, January 29 2010

A few days ago I posted the results of an assessment of a report from July 2009 by Good Jobs First, a study on the effectiveness and transparency of state websites devoted to tracking stimulus money. The results of my ... Read More

Transparency on the Web: a Democrat(ic) Virtue?

BY Tiago Peixoto | Tuesday, January 26 2010

The study Show Us the Stimulus (July 2009, Good Jobs First) is one of the most comprehensive and systematic assessments of US state "recovery" websites. The authors of the report analyze the effectiveness and ... Read More

From Australia, An E-Participatory Budgeting Experiment

BY Tiago Peixoto | Wednesday, September 23 2009

The government of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn and stimulate local economies, has allocated the equivalent of US$30 million to the ... Read More

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization's applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

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