March 2017 Archives

How to: Prepare for your First meeting with a...

So it's your first time to prepare for a meeting with a government official? Great. Having a schedule pencilled in for a specific date is already a small victory, especially if the official you’re about to meet has no idea who you are, where you come from, and if you’re even worth her/his time. We both know that the real anxiety comes from something else: how do you make a lasting...

Government Accountability is More than a Simple...

Improving government accountability has been a goal of democracy programming in the development world for years. Practitioners of governance reform have tended to pursue increased accountability by focusing on two individual factors of the equation: transparency, by opening up government decision-making processes and increasing access to information; and participation, by increasing...

Complaining to improve governance: four stories...

Since joining the Open Government Partnership in 2011, the Indonesian Government has shown some commitment towards implementing initiatives that increase citizen voice and social accountability. These include a series information and communications technology (ICT)-based complaint-handling systems that give members of the public an opportunity to highlight problems with the delivery of public...

Connecting the dots: Building the case for open...

This research , published with Transparency International , measures the progress made by 5 key countries in implementing the G20 Anti-Corruption Open Data Principles . These principles, adopted by G20 countries in 2015, committed countries to increasing and improving the publication of public information, driving forward open data as a tool in anti-corruption efforts. However, this research...

Oltama Elementary School gets steady water...

By: Arlene Ching URDANETA CITY, PANGASINAN - Smelly toilets, withering plants, and lack of drinking water - these are only some of the difficulties that students and teachers of Oltama Elementary School had faced when they were short of running water. The absence of funding, among others, delayed this basic need of students to nearly six decades. The wait was too long compared to the two...

Making the Most of the Budget Cycle: The Budget...

By Jay Colburn, International Budget Partnership - Feb 28, 2017 This post is the first in a series looking at the budget cycle and how civil society can most effectively engage at each stage of it. Timing can be everything when it comes to influencing government decisions. Luckily budgeting more or less follows a regular cycle throughout the financial year – things may be delayed or...

Open State Foundation Netherlands wins OGP 2016...

January 31, 2017, by Arjan El Fassed Open State Foundation is a non-profit based in the Netherlands, working on digital transparency by opening up public information as open data and making it accessible for re-use. Last December, the organization received one of the seven Open Government Partnership 2016 Awards for its work on OpenSpending  at the OGP Global Summit in Paris, France....

It's about time people were involved in...

by Paul Bradley Last week, the Scottish Budget (link is external) was passed by Parliament. Last-ditch deals were made to secure support for the bill and compromises prevented gridlock. Many conversations between political parties were taking place over how Scotland’s money should be spent, but the most important conversation was the one we were not having: between citizen and state....

New Papers Published: FixMyStreet and the...

Here are two new published papers that my colleagues Jon Mellon , Fredrik Sjoberg and myself have been working on. The first, The Effect of Bureaucratic Responsiveness on Citizen Participation , published in Public Administration Review, is – to our knowledge – the first study to quantitatively assess at the individual level the often-assumed effect of government responsiveness on...

Is the big data revolution leaving those most...

by Natalie Elwell, Elizabeth Moses A few years ago, the World Meteorological Organization held a conference on women and climate information services.  A significant number of the event’s discussions centered around the promise of smart phone applications to put weather, climate and agricultural data into the hands of rural farmers, equipping hard-to-reach communities with the...

E-bureaucracy: Can digital technologies spur...

Submitted by Zahid Hasnain On Thu, 02/16/2017 "By introducing an automated customer management system we took a noose and put it around our own necks. We are now accountable!" This reflection from a manager in the Nairobi Public Water and Sewerage utility succinctly captures the impact of MajiVoice, a digital system that logs customer complaints, enables managers to assign the issue to a...

Why doesn’t Public Finance Improvements always...

February 28, 2017 by Doug Hadden My post yesterday described how smart public finances - through improvements in Public Financial Management (PFM) – can lead to better citizen services . The operative word is “can”. Evidence shows that citizen service delivery is complex.  It is somewhat frustrating that “there is surprisingly little academic research on why...

Slow & quick action, open & opaque agencies

by The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition and The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Friday, March 17th, 2017 SUPER QUICK or interminably slow action, a few or all documents, and clear or vague policies and lines of authority — a mix of good and bad practices marked the conduct of state agencies and personnel that recently received access to information requests from six...

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