I originally published this on techPresident
Code for America recently published a book of case studies written by members of its network. While it’s called Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation, its biggest value lies not in futurism but in the book’s descriptions of the lessons learned by people working on open data releases in U.S. cities over the course of the past few years. Many of these examples could help local-level reformers now - both in the U.S. and overseas. And they also show that there’s still a lot of hard work to be done moving from making civic data accessible to users, to actually getting people to use it.
Nerd alert. I just spent the week documenting and learning about the successes, lessons learned and next steps for the Open Government Partnership.
The goal of the OGP is to get governments to make (and carry out) concrete commitments that promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
This week I caught up with Patrick Kane Zambrano and his colleague Jesus who work together on a project called Tehuan. They just launched the 3.0 version of the platform, which solicits citizen reports about everything from potholes to murders in Monterrey, Mexico and then tried to get authorities to act on them.
I originally published this at TechPresident
Look closely at any recent wave of street protests and you’re likely to find a group of “civic technologists” trying to find news ways for citizens to participate in the public sector. These are the type of people that came together last week in Uruguay for Latin America’s first “unconference” on open government (which we live blogged here). Roughly 60 civic technologists talked for two days about their shared challenges and emerging best practices in using technology to engage citizens.