You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

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:

Subscribe to our WeGov mailing list. Current subscribers may need to update their preferences.





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.

WeGov

Examining eDiplomacy: Like it or Not, It is Essential and Here to Stay

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, October 30 2012

Secretary Clinton, State Dept Flickr stream

A new paper from the Brookings Institute examines the reach and effectiveness of eDiplomacy. Read More

WeGov

"Don't Retreat, Retweet": The Story of Ai Wei Wei, China's Leading Netizen

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 29 2012

Exhibition poster for exhibition "So sorry" of chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

There are really two stars of the new documentary "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"--the artist himself, and the Internet. The two are inseparable in the film, which both documents the life story of the man who has become one of China's most creative and courageous dissidents, and shows how he has maneuvered through the cracks in China's vast system of social control by using social media to reach a global and local audience. Read More

WeGov

France's Techies Flap their Wings at Tax Increases With Online "Pigeons" Protest

BY Karim Lebhour | Friday, October 26 2012

The avatar of "Les Pigeons," with Twitter hashtag #GEONPi

They call themselves “Les Pigeons” — in French, “pigeon” is slang for “suckers,” easily fooled and easily abused. The name was adopted by a group of young Internet entrepreneurs who at the beginning of October launched an online campaign in protest of the government's planned tax hike, which they said would hurt small companies like startups. Read More

WeGov

Upcoming Hackathon to Investigate Influence of EU Lobbyists

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 25 2012

The Open Knowledge Foundation and the European Journalism Centre are hosting a hackathon aimed at creating tools that will make the influence of EU lobbyists more transparent. Open Interests Europe will take place in London at the Google Campus Cafe on November 24-25. Read More

WeGov

The Rough and Tumble of Digital Diplomacy, For Better or Worse

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 25 2012

Screenshot from the the State Department's blog

Digital diplomacy is a bit of a buzzword these days. It is practiced widely, both formally and informally, by governments across the globe — the United Kingdom has a particularly extensive site. Brian Fung of the Atlantic explores the impact of direct engagement via social media in an article for the Atlantic: Digital Diplomacy: Why It's So Tough for Embassies to Get Social Media Right. Read More

WeGov

Watch Australian Dept of Justice Explain its Social Media Policy in Three Minutes

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, October 24 2012

Screenshot from Department of Justice video.

The Department of Justice for Victoria, Australia, created a 3-minute video that explains cogently, in simple terms that do not patronize, what social media is and the steps an employee of the department must take in order to use it responsibly. Read More

WeGov

India's New Generation of IT Entrepreneurs Driving Social and Economic Change

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, October 23 2012

As India's information technology sector continues to grow, new startups are looking toward the domestic market rather than focusing primarily on developing technology for export. Driven by a rapidly growing middle class, the boom in India's IT industry is fueling an optimism that would make Silicon Valley veterans shed a tear of nostalgia for the halcyon days of the 1990s. But while these entrepreneurs are driven by old-fashioned capitalism, they also recognize the potential of low-cost, profitable solutions that benefit India’s poor — and, by extension, civil society. Read More

WeGov

Iceland Citizens Vote in Favor of Crowdsourced Constitution

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, October 22 2012

Last Saturday, the citizens of Iceland voted in favor of the new Constitution, EurActiv reports. The bill was drafted thanks to a crowdsourced process that started a year and a half ago. Read More

WeGov

Getting it Right: Gov.uk

BY David Eaves | Monday, October 22 2012

For possibly the first time in my life, I’m actually excited about a national government website. It would appear that in the United Kingdom, the designers, the developers and the content creators of a government have finally beaten the managers. And the result? Not only is it stunning, but it actually stands to be compared against the websites that citizens regularly use. Citizens will compare government websites not to one another but to sites like Google or Facebook, and Gov.uk easily stands up to that comparison. Read More

WeGov

To Protest Electoral Corruption, Putin's Opponents Hold Their Own Parliamentary Elections Online

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, October 19 2012

Screenshot of candidates for the "shadow parliament" from their website.

To protest irregularities in the Russian elections, opponents of President Vladimir Putin are putting their time where their Internet is: They are, reports Reuters, "instead holding their own Internet contest to choose a "shadow parliament" they hope will reinvigorate the flagging opposition movement." Read More

WeGov

In Macedonia, a Draft Law on Defamation May Lead to Online Censorship

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, October 17 2012

The Macedonian Parliament is discussing a draft law on defamation related to online communication which may lead to strong censorship of online communication, the European Digital Rights reports.
The bill considers online service providers liable for penalties, along with the author, for any damage resulting from offensive or defamatory information the provider has allowed access to, but it fails to provide a clear definition of what a provider is, thus allowing the possibility of an arbitrary judgement. Read More

WeGov

Shot by Taliban, Pakistani Teen Activist Malala Continues To Be Target of Online Threats and Conspiracy Theories

BY Nighat Dad | Tuesday, October 16 2012

Photo of Malala by the writer.

Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year-old Pakistani girl, was shot in the head last week by Taliban. Her crime was spreading western values — i.e., insisting on the right of girls to attend school. Malala had been the target of online threats for several years; and now, even as she lies unconscious in a U.K. hospital, the Taliban continues to threaten her life if she recovers, while prominent nationalists tweet conspiracy theories accusing the CIA of being involved in the shooting. For Malala, the Internet has been a mixed blessing. Read More

WeGov

Morsi Meter Releases Status Report on Egyptian President's First 100 Days

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 15 2012

Screenshot of the MorsiMeter site

The people behind the MorsiMeter, a website that monitors and updates readers about the Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi's progress in implementing his campaign promises, have released a report assessing his first 100 days in his office. Read More

WeGov

Bridge to Somewhere: Open Data in Public Policy

BY David Eaves | Thursday, October 11 2012

Saveourbridges.com

If you haven't had the chance, check out saveourbridges.com. It's a simple but wonderful example of data journalism that shows both the effectiveness and the limits of opening up data. given the media attention it has received, there is some evidence to show that a well presented visualization of data can engage the public and help prompt a conversation on an important, if fairly mundane, issue. Read More

WeGov

New iPhone App Allows Reporting of Bribes in Russia

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 9 2012

Screenshot from Bribr website.

A group of Russian entrepreneurs have released an iPhone application that encourages the reporting of bribes, the Moscow Times reported. Read More

WeGov

Internet Users Learn to Protect their Online Privacy at Crypto Parties

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, October 9 2012

CryptoParty symbol taken from Wikipage.

Even ostensibly transparent, liberal democracies are increasingly considering legislation that would limit online freedom and privacy. To combat these measures, CryptoParties bring together ordinary Internet users at events held at cities around the world where they learn how to protect their right to online privacy. Read More

WeGov

Iranian Gov't Blocks Downloading of Foreign Media Files

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 8 2012

The Iranian government is now blocking the downloading of MP3, MP4, AVI and SWF files hosted on foreign servers, reports Storify Middle East. Read More

WeGov

Lawyer for Hacktivists: U.S. Law Criminalizing Cyberattacks Should Be Modified

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 8 2012

Jay Leiderman, the California based attorney who represents notorious hacktivists like Anonymous, spoke to the Atlantic about why he represents some of his clients pro bono, why he thinks the law criminalizing DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks) should be modified and why he once described certain variations of this type of "cyberattack" as "the equivalent of occupying the Woolworth's lunch counter during the civil rights movement." Read More

WeGov

Indonesian Activists Mount Online Anti-Corruption Campaign

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 8 2012

With Indonesia's official anti-corruption agency threatened by the police for targeting graft amongst its senior officers, local activists have mounted a comprehensive online campaign to protest and raise awareness of corruption. Read More

WeGov

Indonesian Grassroots Group Promotes Internet Freedom

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, October 5 2012

With the increase in around the region of government legislation that would limit online freedom of expression, Indonesian bloggers have formed an organization to raise awareness and possibly fight back. Read More