Apply for Sunlight’s 2014 international exchange program!

Picture of two people talking.
Image Credit: Tamas Szemann

Since the launch of Sunlight’s international program two years ago, we have been working to expand public access to government information on a global scale. To help achieve this goal, we frequently engage in knowledge sharing and provide technical expertise and capacity to like-minded organizations in other countries.

Exchanges between Sunlight staff and members of the global open government community play a key role in this strategy.

The exchange program gives individuals from organizations outside the U.S. the opportunity to engage in specialized skills transfer with Sunlight. By hosting a Sunlighter for a couple of weeks, or spending time at our office here in Washington, D.C., exchange organizations and fellows can share best practices on opening data and building effective tools for citizen engagement. These exchanges are either funded by Sunlight, the corresponding host organization or other third parties.

Formalizing our exchanges program

We are now revamping our exchange program and launching a formal application process. In the past, we’ve leveraged the organic relationships that Sunlight has already cultivated with national-level organizations outside the U.S. However, due to Sunlight’s increased presence on the global stage, we now see more demand for exchanges than ever before. We’d like to extend this opportunity to a larger number of organizations and open up the application process for everyone.

Since we started conducting exchanges, the scope of Sunlight’s International Program has shifted too. As we drill down our focus at the international level on revealing influence through Money, Politics and Transparency, we’d also like to focus our exchanges program to work with open government activists who try to confront power through public information and increase government accountability.

What we’ve learned from the past

Just to give you a sense on the range of people we’ve worked with, in 2013 we hosted Fernando Uval and Gabriela Rodriguez, two developers from DATAuy in Uruguay. During their time at Sunlight, they built scrapers for data from their national parliament’s website and drafted an API. Iris Palma, an open government consultant from El Salvador, spent this past winter with us. She created the Spanish translation of the Open Data Policy Guidelines, now featured in the Road Map for Open Government in Latin American Countries. Eric Mill, a former Sunlight developer, spent three weeks with Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente in Chile working on an API for their flagship tool, Vota Inteligente, and running workshops on JavaScript and mobile app development. Last fall, our creative director, Caitlin Weber spent two weeks with Civio in Spain to help brand their influence monitoring platform, Quien Manda. Now this tool is fully stocked with crowdsourced data mapping the questionably close relationships between policymakers and outside stakeholders. Finally, just earlier this year, Lucy Park of Popong in South Korea spent time at Sunlight making improvements to Pokr, a tool that monitors the Korean National Assembly.

How to apply

Are you interested in taking part of our exchange program? Click here to fill out our application form. Sunlight will review all applications and contact any candidates that have been selected for further consideration for an interview. While we will continue to consider all open government activists regardless of their issue areas, Sunlight will be giving priority to applicants who use technology to address basic questions of government accountability, including those who confront opaque lobbying practices, political finance or corruption within public procurement.

The first deadline for accepting applications is August 31.

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at!