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WeGov

Too Much "Open Government," Not Enough Openness?

BY Panthea Lee | Thursday, October 31 2013

Are Open Government initiatives too much show and no substance? (Laurence and Annie/flickr)

But despite all the ambition and innovation of Open Government initiatives, the utility of this movement is yet unproven. Many initiatives seek transparent, participatory, and accountable governance, but is the practice of open government living up to the promise behind these three pillars? Read More

WeGov

The World Bank's Lo-Tech Open Data Experiment

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, October 30 2013

Although the open data movement is associated with the Internet and tech-savvy types, an estimated 65 percent of the world's population remains entirely offline. As part of their ongoing push to open up development data, the World Bank has tested initiatives in remote communities to see how open data could be used offline. They wanted to put the assumption that open data is too difficult to understand (especially without the advantage of computer literacy) to the test.

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Knight Funding Brings Open Data Institute Model to U.S.

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 29 2013

The U.K.-based Open Data Institute is coming to the U.S. with a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. With the funding, open government technologist Waldo Jaquith will work to replicate the model of the ODI, which Sir Tim Berners-Lee co-founded last year to provide guidance on how to maximize the value of government open data by providing training and educational resources, conducting research, helping to certify open data releases, launching a challenge series and providing consultation responses to government policy proposals. Read More

WeGov

Who Does it Best When it Comes to Open Data?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, October 29 2013

Screenshot of 2013 Open Data Index

To coincide with the Open Government Partnership Summit in London—which Susannah Vila and Christopher Wilson of engine room are live-blogging for techPresident this week—the Open Knowledge Foundation has released the 2013 Open Data Index, the first major assessment of open government data worldwide. The Index is based on community surveys in 70 countries, and ranks countries based on availability and accessibility of data in ten categories, including government spending, election results and pollution levels. The United Kingdom came out on top, followed by the United States; Cyprus is way behind, scoring a mere 30 points compared to the United Kingdom's 940.

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WeGov

Pushback Against Corruption In Philippines Continues With Gov't Hackathon

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, October 28 2013

The Philippines government is sponsoring a two-day hackathon early next month as part of an attempt to reform government and reduce corruption. Less than two months ago the country was rocked by a corruption scandal implicating three senators, two former lawmakers, and a businesswoman for misuse of state funds totaling more than US$200 million. The central government will provide data for the #KabantayNgBayan (Guardians of the Nation) hackathon, which will encourage the development of apps that encourage citizens to monitor and participate in government.

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WeGov

Dude, Where's My Cow? There May Be An App For That

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, October 18 2013

siwild/flickr

Sometimes the thieves come in large trucks armed with guns and take what they like in broad daylight. Sometimes they slink across the fields in the middle of the night for their plunder. But the results are the same: the loss of crops and in many cases, cows, that has cost farmers US$52 million a year in Jamaica alone. These thefts – known as praedial larceny – are endemic across the Caribbean region. Read More

First POST: Kludgeocracy

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 17 2013

Some shocking remarks from a top Silicon Valley VC about the government shutdown; more details on Pierre Omidyar's new online journalism endeavor with Glenn Greenwald; Code for America is thinking about how to help cities go "beyond transparency"; and much, much more. Read More

Oakland City Council Passes Open Data Policy

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, October 17 2013

The Oakland City Council Tuesday unanimously passed legislation requiring Oakland to adopt an Open Data Policy with the goal of making city data publically accessible in machine-readable format. Read More

WeGov

Looking to Draft a Constitution? Now You Can Google It

BY Rebecca Chao | Thursday, October 17 2013

Screenshot of the website

Constitute, a new platform created by the Comparative Constitutions Project in partnership with Google Ideas is a tool to "read, search and compare" constitutions from over 170 countries. Read More

WeGov

UK National Health Service Sitting On Potential Treasure Trove of Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, October 17 2013

Make room for the data (Wikipedia)

We live in a world in which data is so valuable some people compare it to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The data in this case is the vast stores of patient information held by the U.K.'s National Health Service. One of the world's largest public health systems, the NHS serves more than 50 million people. Those 50 million plus medical records are being moved to a new central database to facilitate better healthcare for patients, regardless of where they go to receive care. The central database could also be a treasure trove of data for researchers, if patients acquiesce to sharing.

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News Briefs

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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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