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WeGov

Tell President Kenyatta You Paid A Bribe

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, October 31 2013

125,584,332 Kenyan shillings have been paid in bribes since the end of 2011 (Wikipedia)

As Kenya continues to struggle with everyday corruption, President Kenyatta has launched a platform through which citizens can report incidents of bribery directly to his administration. Similar platforms, like I Paid A Bribe and Not In My Country, which targets corruption in the school system, already exist, but bribery is so systemic that only seven out of 100 Kenyans will report specific instances, according to Transparency International's most recent East African Bribery Index. It remains to be seen if President Kenyatta's attention to the problem will inspire more participation and eventually lead to reform and change.

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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

Can Facebook Zero Aid Development Work in Africa?

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, October 28 2013

Usha Venkatachallam, founder of a technology consulting company, divides her time between Washington, D.C. and Coimbatore, India, but the global nature of her development work has recently led her to Uganda where she is working on creating a digital health platform in Apac, a remote rural area of the country. Part of the project will utilize Facebook Zero, which Venkatachallam says will prove useful for engaging users in “resource constrained environments.” Read More

WeGov

Apple Kicks Out Another Anti-Censorship App From Their Chinese Store

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, October 25 2013

Just when it seemed like a small opening for controversial apps had appeared in the Chinese Apple App store, it quickly closed again. Yesterday, GreatFire.org's Free Weibo, a tool that allows you to search and find censored tweets on China’s popular microblogging platform, Sina Weibo, was finally made available in the Apple apps store in China after being previously blocked. When I asked Charlie Smith, who along with Martin Johnson created Great Fire, a website that monitor's censorship in China, "why the sudden reversal?", the answer was clear: it was an oversight. Read More

WeGov

Could State Department Funded Lantern Be Bigger, Better Tor?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, October 22 2013

Lanterns in Singapore (Tallkev/Flickr)

Global Internet freedom is without a doubt declining. Authoritarian states like China and Iran routinely block social media and news websites. Half of the countries surveyed for the 2013 Freedom House report on net freedom have blocked political or social content, and nearly a third blanket block at least one blogging or social media platform. Anti-censorship tools exist, but the most popular and effective buckle under the overwhelming demand for them in repressive countries.

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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

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

Open Corporate Data For Everyone, Everywhere

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, October 16 2013

Screenshot of Barclays relationship network

The open data movement is sweeping the world and its champions are determined that no government, organization or even corporation will be left behind. This summer OpenCorporates launched an open data corporate network platform on which they can collect, collate and visualize corporate relationship data. They are striving to be nothing less than the go-to database for corporate data, with “a URL for every company in the world.”

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WeGov

Zambian President Admits to Spying on Fellow Officials

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, October 16 2013

President of Zambia Michael Sata (Commonwealth Secretariat/flickr)

During his 2011 election campaign, the current president of Zambia, Michael Sata rose to popularity by playing on anti-Chinese sentiment and the anger of laborers over poor standards at the many large Chinese-run mines in Zambia. Now it seems Sata is taking a cue from his key economic partner with what appears to be a worrying surveillance program of other Zambian officials. According to Global Voices, he tapped the phone of his foreign minister and also planted a bug underneath a chair in the office of the leader of Barotseland region, whose citizens want to secede from Zambia. Read More

WeGov

Quién Manda: A Pinterest For Politician and Lobbyist Relations?

BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, October 8 2013

http://quienmanda.es/

Some day, the term ‘El Fotomandón’ may give Spanish politicians the jitters. El Fotomandón is, in some sense, like a paparazzi meets Pinterest for politician and lobbyist relations, displaying photos of them interacting together. These so-called ‘protagonistas’ are tagged with their full name and titles. It belongs to the site, Quién Manda (‘Who’s Your Boss?’), launched today by Civio, a civil interest group that works on transparency issues in Spain. Its mantra is to bid ‘bye, bye to opacity’ and ‘hello to democracy.’ Read More