Council on Foreign Relations Blog: “The open, global Internet, which has created untold wealth and empowered billions of individuals, is in jeopardy. Around the world, “nations are reasserting sovereignty and territorializing cyberspace” to better control the political, economic, social activities of their citizens, and the content they can access. These top-down efforts undermine the Internet’s existing decentralized, multi-stakeholder system of governance and threaten its fragmentation into multiple national intranets. To preserve an open system that reflects its interests and values while remaining both secure and resilient, the United States must unite a coalition of like-minded states committed to free expression and free markets and prepared to embrace new strategies to combat cyber crime and rules to govern cyber warfare.
These are the core messages of the just-released CFR report, Defending an Open, Global, Resilient, and Secure Internet. The product of a high-level task force, chaired by former Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte and former IBM Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano, the report opens by describing the epochal transformation the Internet has wrought on societies and economies worldwide—particularly in the developing world.
Facilitating this unprecedented connectivity has been a framework based not on governmental (or intergovernmental) fiat but on “self-regulation, private sector leadership, and a bottom-up policy process.” By leaving regulation in the hands of technical experts, private sector actors, civil society groups, and end-users, the pioneers of the early Internet ensured that it would “reflect a broad range of perspectives and keep pace with rapidly changing technology.” They also ensured that rights of free expression and privacy would emerge as dominant norms….
Given current trends, can the United States possibly preserve the open global internet? Yes, but the first step is getting its own house in order. Distressingly, the U.S. government lacks a coherent strategic vision, an adequate policy coordination framework, and the requisite legislative authorities to develop and implement a national cyberspace policy, undercutting its global leadership.
Beyond this general guidance, the CFR task force offers some ninety (!) recommendations for U.S. policymakers.”
Inside the MPA@UNC Blog: “Engaged citizens want clear, credible information from the government about how it’s carrying on its business. They don’t want to thumb through thousands of files or wait month after month or go through the rigors of filing claims through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). They want government information, services, and communication to be forthcoming and swift. The Open Government, Government 2.0, and E-Governance movements fill the need of connecting citizens with the government and each other to foster a more open, collaborative, and efficient public sector through the use of new technology and public data.
Open Government is defined by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) as “the transparency of government actions, the accessibility of government services and information, and the responsiveness of government to new ideas, demands and needs.”
E-Government is defined by the World Bank as “the use by government agencies of information technologies that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management. The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and/or cost reductions.”
Government 2.0 is defined by Gartner Research as “the use of Web 2.0 technologies, both internally and externally, to increase collaboration and transparency and potentially transform the way government agencies relate to citizens and operate.”
Open Government and E-Government paved the way for Government 2.0, a collaborative technology whose mission is to improve government transparency and efficiency. How? Gov 2.0 has been called the next generation of government because it not only utilizes new technologies such as social media, cloud computing, and other apps, it is a means to increase citizen participation….
We have compiled a list of organizations, blogs, guides, and tools to help citizens and public service leaders better understand the Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0 movement….”
Lisa Ellman and Nick Sinai @ The White House Blog: “But we know that much of the best open government work happens in America’s towns and cities. Every day, local leaders across America’s communities are stepping up in big ways to advance open government goals from the ground up.
This July, the White House will host a “Champions of Change” event to celebrate these local change-agents, whose exemplary leadership is helping to strengthen our democracy and increase participation in our government.
The event will convene extraordinary individuals who are taking innovative approaches to engage citizens and communities in the practice of open government and civic participation. These leaders will be invited to the White House to celebrate their accomplishments and showcase the steps they have taken to foster a more open, transparent, and participatory government.
Today, we’re asking you to help us identify these standout local leaders by nominating a Champion of Change for Transformative Civic Engagement by noon on Friday, June 21st. A Champion’s work may involve:
- Piloting a participatory and democracy-building initiative, such as one that engages citizens in governance beyond elections;
- Engaging traditionally disengaged communities in local governance;
- Using new technologies to enhance transparency, participation, and collaboration in government.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Nominate a Transformative Civic Leader as a Champion of Change (under theme of service, choose “Transformative Civic Engagement Leaders”).
NESTA Policy Innovation Blog: “On 20 June 2013 we are hosting the launch of Randomise Me, a new website developed with Ben Goldacre, which will enable anyone to set up and run their own trial. What questions would you like to answer? For instance, ever wondered whether coffee gives you heart palpitations? Whether the reading app used in your classroom really does improve children’s attainment? Whether your new marketing campaign is increasing volunteer recruitment? If you want to know answers, then run a trial on Randomise Me and find out.
Randomised Control Trials may sound complex, but they simply involve taking a group, such as a group of patients, children, schools, or others, splitting them into groups at random, and then giving one intervention to one group, and another intervention to the other. The differences between each group are then observed to see if one intervention has achieved its supposed outcome. They are commonly used in medicine, but are much less common in other areas, such as children’s services, social care or education. Randomise Me is going to help remedy this.”
Open Gov Blog: “In 2011, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI) published “Opening Government” – a guide for civil society organisations, and governments, to support them to develop and update ambitious and targeted action plans for the Open Government Partnership.
This year, T/AI is working with a number of expert organisations and participants in the Open Government Partnership to update and expand the guide into a richer online resource, which will include new topic areas and more lessons and updates from ongoing experience….
Below you’ll find an early draft of the section in GoogleDocs, where we invite you to edit and comment on it and help to develop it further. In particular, we’d value your thoughts on the following:
Are the headline illustrative commitments realistic and stretching at each of the levels? If not, please suggest how they should be changed.
Are there any significant gaps in the illustrative commitments? Please suggest any additional commitments you feel should be included – and better yet, write it!
Are the recommendations clear and useful? Please suggest any alterations you feel should be made.
Are there particular country experiences that should be expanded on? Please suggest any good examples you are aware of (preferably linking to a write-up of the project).
Are there any particularly useful resources missing? If so, please point us towards them.
This draft – which is very much a work in progress – is open for comments and edits, so please contribute as you wish. You can also send any thoughts to me via: firstname.lastname@example.org”
I’ve just finished two packed days at the Health Datapalooza, put on by the Health Data Consortium with the Department of Health and Human Services. As I’ve just heard someone say, many of the 2000 people here are a bit “Palooza”d out.” But this fourth annual event shows the growing power of open government data on health and health care services. The two-day event covered both the knowledge and applications that can come from the release of data like that on Medicare claims, and the ways in which the Affordable Care Act is driving the use of data for better delivery of high-quality care. The participation of leaders from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service added an international perspective as well.
There’s too much to summarize in a single blog post, but you can follow these links to read about the Health Data Consortium and its new CEO’s goals; the DataPalooza’s opening plenary session, with luminaries from government, business, and the New Yorker; and today’s keynote by Todd Park, with reflections on some of new companies that open government data is supporting.
– Joel Gurin, GovLab network member and Founder and Editor, OpenDataNow.com
Todd Park @ White House Blog: “Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column, Obamacare’s Other Surprise, highlights a rising tide of innovation that has been unleashed by the Affordable Care Act and the Administration’s health IT and data initiatives. Supported by digital data, new data-driven tools, and payment policies that reward improving the quality and value of care, doctors, hospitals, patients, and entrepreneurs across the nation are demonstrating that smarter, better, more accessible, and more proactive care is the best way to improve quality and control health care costs.
We are witnessing the emergence of a data-powered revolution in health care. Catalyzed by the Recovery Act, adoption of electronic health records is increasing dramatically. More than half of all doctors and other eligible providers and nearly 80 percent of hospitals are using electronic health records to improve care, an increase of more than 200 percent since 2008. In addition, the Administration’s Health Data Initiative is making a growing supply of key government data on everything from hospital charges and quality to regional health care system performance statistics freely available in computer-readable, downloadable form, as fuel for innovation, entrepreneurship, and discovery.
Dan Bevarly in his blog, aheadofideas: “An online collective social process based on the Group Forming Networks (GFN) model with third party facilitation (perhaps via a community foundation or other local nonprofit) offers an effective solution for successful resident engagement for public policy making. It is essential that the process be accepted by elected officials and other policy making agencies that must contribute information and data for the networks, and accept the collaboration of their subgroups and participants as valid, deliberative civic engagement.
Residents will become engaged around a policy discussion (and perhaps join a network on the topic) based on a certain variables including:
- interest, existing knowledge or expertise in the subject matter;
- personal or community impact or relevance from decisions surrounding the policy topic(s); and
- belief that participation will lead to real or visible outcome or resolution.
Government (as policy maker) must support these networks by providing objective, in-depth information about a policy issue, project or challenge to establish and feed a knowledge base for citizen/resident education.
Government needs informed citizen participation that helps address its many challenges with new ideas and knowledge. It is in their best interest to embrace structured networks to increase resident participation and consensus in the policy making process, and to increase efficiency in providing programs and services. But it should not be responsible for maintaining these networks….”
The White House Blog: “Today marks one year since we released the Digital Government Strategy (PDF/ HTML5), as part of the President’s directive to build a 21st Century Government that delivers better services to the American people.
The Strategy is built on the proposition that all Americans should be able to access information from their Government anywhere, anytime, and on any device; that open government data – data that are publicly accessible in easy-to-use formats – can fuel innovation and economic growth; and that technology can make government more transparent, more efficient, and more effective.
A year later, there’s a lot to be proud of:
In twelve months, the Federal Government has significantly shifted how it thinks about digital information – treating data as a valuable national asset that should be open and available to the public, to entrepreneurs, and others, instead of keeping it trapped in government systems. …
The Federal Government and the American people cannot afford to have each agency build isolated and duplicative technology solutions. Instead, we must use modern platforms for digital services that can be shared across agencies….
Citizens shouldn’t have to struggle to access the information they need. To ensure that the American people can easily find government services, we implemented a government-wide Digital Analytics Program across all Federal websites….
Security and Privacy
Throughout all of these efforts, maintaining cyber security and protecting privacy have been paramount….
In the end, the digital strategy is all about connecting people to government resources in useful ways. And by “connecting” we mean a two-way street….
Learn more at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/digitalgov/strategy-milestones and http://www.whitehouse.gov/digitalgov/deliverables.”
White House Blog: “Technology evolves rapidly, and it can be challenging for policy and its implementation to evolve at the same pace. Last week, President Obama launched the Administration’s new Open Data Policy and Executive Order aimed at ensuring that data released by the government will be as accessible and useful as possible. To make sure this tech-focused policy can keep up with the speed of innovation, we created Project Open Data.
Project Open Data is an online, public repository intended to foster collaboration and promote the continual improvement of the Open Data Policy. We wanted to foster a culture change in government where we embrace collaboration and where anyone can help us make open data work better. The project is published on GitHub, an open source platform that allows communities of developers to collaboratively share and enhance code. The resources and plug-and-play tools in Project Open Data can help accelerate the adoption of open data practices. For example, one tool instantly converts spreadsheets and databases into APIs for easier consumption by developers. The idea is that anyone, from Federal agencies to state and local governments to private citizens, can freely use and adapt these open source tools—and that’s exactly what’s happening.
Within the first 24 hours after Project Open Data was published, more than two dozen contributions (or “pull requests” in GitHub speak) were submitted by the public. The submissions included everything from fixing broken links, to providing policy suggestions, to contributing new code and tools. One pull request even included new code that translates geographic data from locked formats into open data that is freely available for use by anyone…”