All over the world, groups and individuals are using technology in a variety of innovative ways to increase government transparency, fight corruption, open data, hack on civic problems, strengthen economic development, address environmental problems, improve public health and education, and advance the conditions of women and children.
Our name for this trend is "We-government" or "WeGov" for short. Unlike the older practice of e-government, where public agencies are in the driver's seat and use tech to tell citizens what officials want them to know, allow them to upload required information, and invite input but only on government's terms, WeGov is what happens when citizens and NGOs take fuller advantage of tech's affordances to create (and sometimes co-create, with government's involvement) new and better approaches to providing and using vital public information and services.
techPresident's WeGov vertical is where we cover the people, projects, trends and ideas that are shaping this emerging space with a mix of in-depth feature reporting, daily news digests, and the development of a growing archive of articles, modules and pointers to other valuable resources.
Starting in June 2013, a chunk of the coverage on WeGov is coming from a new partnership with the engine room aimed at expanding our ability to surface and connect emerging tactics and initiatives. The engine room is an organization that uses research and networks to close gaps between advocacy initiatives, technologies, strategies and resources. They match initiatives with specialized expertise to help them make the most out of new technologies. With their help, we will be adding a series of skill shares for practitioners, in-depth reports, columns, and live documentation of relevant events.
To read about WeGov articles that fall under specific categories of interest, click on the links below:
- Civil Society Organizations
- Legislative Branch
- Executive Branch
- Judicial Branch
- Political Parties
WeGov is written and edited by Rebecca Chao, Jessica McKenzie and Antonella Napolitano, in partnership with the engine room and with assistance from Micah L. Sifry. The WeGov advisory board includes Sunil Abraham, Dominic Campbell, Susan Crawford, Beth Noveck, Tiago Peixoto, and Jeffrey Warren.
Personal Democracy Media is thankful to the Omidyar Network and the United Nations Foundation for their generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.
BY Carola Frediani | Monday, August 11 2014
Podemos (“We Can”), a new Spanish party established in March 2014, disrupted their nation’s political scene when it swept up five seats out of 54 and 1.2 million votes (8% of the total) in the European elections in May even though it was only 100-days-old. With 704,585 likes on Facebook and 321,000 followers on Twitter, it has more online fans than any other Spanish political party.Read More
BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, July 30 2014
The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. Read More
BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, July 21 2014
While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. Read More
BY Rebecca Chao | Thursday, July 17 2014
The United Nations World Food Program has rolled out an electronic food program for Syrian refugees, giving them control over what they eat and allowing them to inject that money back into their host country's economy. Read More
BY the engine room | Thursday, July 17 2014
Update July 17, 5PM CET<
School of Data, Peer to Peer University and Open Tech School organized a world-cafe' style workshop to share their experiences in designing and conducting training processes, online and offline. The areas covered were:
- How to organise tech and data workshops
- Building effective curriculum and accreditation
- Type of education activities: a blended offline, online
- Designing passion driven communities
BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 16 2014
In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.Read More
BY the engine room | Wednesday, July 16 2014
During OKFest, our reporters will ask Festival participants five questions about the state of the Open knowledge movement:
- What’s the most interesting project you have seen at OKFest?
- What should be open?
- What should not be open?
- In your opinion, what has opening knowledge accomplished?
- What’s next for the open knowledge movement?
This post collects all the flash interviews: read on for insights into open knowledge from the deep end.Read More
BY the engine room | Tuesday, July 15 2014
OKFest 2014 will be the biggest Open Knowledge event yet. And with over a hundred sessions and 1000 participants, it promises to capture 360 view of the state of things in the open data movement. The engine room will be liveblogging the event, conducting flash interviews, surfing sessions for insights, and sitting down with a few open knowledge projects to learn more about the state of the art and evolution of the open data movement. We will be updating this space with pictures and other media, session aha’s, and trends we see throughout the event.Read More
BY Rebecca Chao | Thursday, July 10 2014
Orkut, Google’s social network platform once beloved in Brazil, will soon shutter with Facebook taking its place. Mark Zuckerberg's social network currently not only operates but also dominates in every time zone, making it at this point in time, an empire upon which the sun literally never sets. Read More
BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 8 2014
You probably work for “The Man.” If not you, then someone close to you does, and even if you have no friends or family, your government is almost certainly doing business with him. Wouldn't it be nice to know a bit more about the so-called “Man”? Thanks to the massive open data project OpenCorporates, you now can, and they are intensifying their data opening efforts with #FlashHacks, a crowdscraping campaign launched today. The campaign goal is to release 10 million data points on the companies you work for, work with, buy from, sell to, and deal with in tangible and intangible ways every day, and all in just 10 days.Read More
BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 7 2014
For more than a month now, Wikimedia Meta-Wiki, the global Wikimedia community site, has hosted a little experiment in digital democracy. Carl Miller, co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos-UK, and Wikimedia UK's Stevie Benton wanted to see whether the mechanisms that govern Wikipedia could be applied to political policy. The opportunity to do so arose when the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced the Commission on Digital Democracy, an investigation into how digital technology can be used to improve democratic processes, and solicited comments from the public.Read More
BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Monday, July 7 2014
The UK wants to increase surveillance; Russia demands Google, Facebook and Twitter open local offices and hand over user data; Tunisians debate on social media whether to boycott the next election; and much more. Read More
BY Onnik James Krikorian | Thursday, July 3 2014
In a move as swift as any blitzkrieg on the ground, al-Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) took many by surprise this week by announcing the creation of a ‘Caliphate.’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s leader, was proclaimed ‘Ca-liph’ and leader ‘of jihadists everywhere’ while the group also announced that its name was to be changed to IS (Islamic State). Read More
BY the engine room | Wednesday, July 2 2014
Stories, questions and answers from the engine room to help you navigate choices in platforms for mobile data collection, management and outreach. Read More
BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, July 1 2014
Before 2011, Myanmar was a technology desert. A basic SIM card was a black market item that could cost between US$50 to $300. Now as the country opens politically and as telecommunication companies and private businesses begin to invest in connectivity and infrastructure, Christoph Amthor hopes to leverage the country’s technological progress to connect the country’s civil society through a mobile and online platform. Read More
BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, June 30 2014
BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, June 25 2014
In just six months, a small staff of 20 people using open source tools, built a complex, first-of-its-kind mobile registration system in Libya, a transitioning country beset with violence. Today, Libyans will vote for a new parliament and 1.5 million citizens have registered. Since the fall of Libya's long-ruling dictator, Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the violence and tribal clashes that plague the country have overshadowed the work of a new government straining to rebuild it through innovation and openness. Read More
BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, June 25 2014
The Spanish King's abdication, Narendra Modi's win, the loss of Malaysia airlines and an Olympic bet were just a few topics of the most popular tweets by world leaders this year. Each garnered more than 24,000 retweets, according to the 2014 Burson-Marsteller's Twiplomacy Study, which captures an annual snapshot of the power, influence and relationships of world leaders and diplomats on Twitter.Read More
BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 24 2014
A vote on Mexico's unpopular telecommunications legislation—which had been scheduled to coincide with the World Cup—has been put on ice until July, Libre Internet Para Todos (Free Internet for All) told Global Voices, although GV adds that the law still could be “fast tracked” through the process. In response to criticism and widespread protests in April, Mexico's governing party promised to make changes before passing the law. However, Access reports that any changes have been merely “cosmetic” and “almost all the threats to digital rights remain.”Read More
BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 23 2014
- civil society
- Latin America
- open data
- arab spring
- crisis mapper
- crisis mapping
- cyber crackdown
- cyber dissidents
- cyber mapping
- cyber security
- cyber space
- cyber warfare
- data act
- data analysis
- data catalog
- data catalogs
- data divide
- data journalism
- data literacy
- data management
- data mining
- data visualization
- online campaigns
- open data standards
- open government
- grassroots advocacy
- identity theft
- parliamentary monitoring
- participatory budgeting
- participatory government