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WeGov

Putin Expels USAID; Organization Contributed to Russian NGO that Mapped Electoral Balloting Irregularities

BY Natalia Antonova | Friday, October 5 2012

Screenshot from the Golos election mapping site

The Russian government booted USAID out of the country following accusations that the well known aid agency had been "meddling in internal affairs," as Vladimir Putin put it. He was referring to Golos, a group that mapped balloting fraud in the Russian election. A Russian journalist provides the background and some valuable insight into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Read More

WeGov

Phone App Helps Locate People in Disaster Zones

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 4 2012

Image from Earthquake Buddy

An Australian mobile phone app developer has produced Earthquake Buddy, which allows users to track down their loved ones when conventional communications break down in a disaster zone. Read More

WeGov

Investing in "Crazy" Innovative Ideas to Promote Global Transparency and Accountability

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, October 3 2012

Global Integrity, a Washington, DC-based NGO that works for government transparency and accountability launched two major new initiatives this week — a hub for like-minded NGOs and an innovation fund that provides grants for projects that promote transparency and fight corruption. Read More

WeGov

The OGP at Year One: Off the Ground - So Where Next?

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, October 3 2012

In some ways the OGP is like the infamous Spruce Goose: a plane so innovative and big, it was unclear if it could fly while carrying the large and diverse payload it was designed to hold. Thus having generated an international conversation (and sought to spur dozens of domestic conversations) about technology, transparency, openness and engagement can the OGP serve as a vehicle that can simultaneously satisfy the interest of all its stakeholders. Having managed to get this large organization off the ground, can the OGP pilot itself somewhere useful, while keeping its various stakeholders onboard? Read More

WeGov

Jordan's Flourishing IT Economy Could Falter With Passing of New Media Law

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, October 2 2012

Jordan's parliament has passed controversial legislation that would give the government sweeping powers to censor and block online content. Jordan is a regional IT innovation hub that has benefited from the small kingdom's political moderation and free Internet. But the new law could undermine both the innovation sector and online freedom of expression. Read More

WeGov

In Finland, "Open Ministry" Brings Legislation From the Crowd

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, September 28 2012

Tech entrepreneurs in Finland have created Open Ministry, an open-source platform for citizens to discuss proposals and collect the necessary signatures online. Read More

WeGov

What and Where of Chinese Factory Riots Reported on Social Media, But What Of Why and Who?

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, September 27 2012

When workers rioted at Foxconn, the largest electronics manufacturing factory in China, the story was broken on social media with images of smashed cars and confrontations between workers and riot police. But when journalists tried to corroborate the story, they were unable to obtain first-hand information or even a measure of clarity. Read More

WeGov

In Thailand, Apps to Track Risks of Flood

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, September 24 2012

The Thai government has launched an iPad and iPhone app that tracks and updates constantly with information about rainfall and flooding in the country. The apps, called Water4Thai, include information in both English and Thai; they can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store. Read More

WeGov

How to Score Politicians Without Turning Parliament Into a Game

BY David Eaves | Friday, September 21 2012

There is no "right" way to assess the performance of parliamentarians. There is no algorithm that will rank them perfectly, no set of stats that will objectively determine their effectiveness. The problem with parliamentary monitoring websites like NosDéputés, TheyWorkForYou or even OpenCongress is not that they don't measure performance the right way, the problem is that they are the only websites in their respective countries really measuring performance at all. Should the public care how many questions their representatives ask in parliament? Maybe. Maybe not. But if you had a number of sites comparing parliamentarians performance you'd find out pretty fast what the public did care about. And frankly, I could care less if it made parliament more or less effective for the sitting government. Read More

WeGov

[OP-ED] Are Innovation Hubs the Future of Open Government In Africa?

BY Chris R. Albon | Tuesday, September 18 2012

Members of Accadius, a project at the iHub in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Courtesy of Juliana Rotich

Set alongside one Nairobi’s main roadways, the Bishop Magua Centre looks on the exterior no different than any other mid-rise office building. However, inside its drab khaki walls are some of the most innovative technology projects in Africa. Why this building? Because the Bishop Magua Centre’s fourth floor is home to what has been named the “unofficial headquarters of Kenya’s tech movement,” less grandiosely called the iHub. More than simply a space to build the next Instagram, these hubs could be home to the next wave of open government innovation in Africa. Read More