Today in OpenGov: Around the World


Today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, & analysis, including a heap of news from around the world…

think global


Earlier this week, “the European Space Agency announced an Open Access policy for images and data under a Creative Commons BY-SA license. ESA has made various moves toward making data and images more open in the past, but this announcement is a major milestone for the organization’s commitment to openness.” (Creative Commons)
  • After nearly a decade of effort the Lebanese parliament passed a right to access to information bill earlier this year. They joined at least 115 other countries around the world. ( For a broad look and analysis of the world’s access to information laws check out
  • CorruptionWatch, a Transparency International chapter based in South Africa, is out with their 2016 annual report. The report shows that “the South African public are increasingly intolerant of corruption.”
  • Meanwhile, a growing corruption scandal in South Korea has engulfed several top Samsung executives, including the firm’s vice chairman and heir apparant. “Lee Jae-yong, the 48-year-old vice chairman of Samsung, was indicted in South Korea on bribery and other allegations Tuesday in a broadening corruption scandal that also saw charges leveled against four other top Samsung executives.” (Ars Technica)
  • “On February 27, the Colombian Senate released a new smartphone application to allow citizens greater access to legislative information and improve transparency during Senate deliberations.” The app arrives just as the Colombian legislature begins to debate legislation to implement recently approved peace accords that have attracted significant public interest. (National Democratic Institute)

City streets

  • North Hempstead, New York has joined the ranks of cities embracing open financial data. “North Hempstead residents can now precisely track how their tax dollars are spent, with the town’s recent launch of a comprehensive website showing years of its expenditures.” (Newsday via NFOIC)
  • How can smaller communities navigate changes wrought by digitalisation? The small city of LaGrange, Georgia may provide a case study, showing that “…addressing the challenges of digital disruption and a globalizing economy may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. The key to success is getting the right people together to address the right issues.” (Governing)

more on federal data

  • The U.S. Census Bureau is entering a critical period in advance of the 2020 census and it is unclear how recent actions –or the lack of action — by President Trump may effect the agency. The President has been slow to fill important posts across the Federal government, including several at the Census. Additionally, proposed across the board cuts in the President’s budget could hinder the Bureau’s preparations for 2020. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Local governments rely on federal data for decision making across a range of policy areas. Recently proposed legislation — The Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017 — would set a bad precedent and “could end up limiting access to valuable federal data… [and represent] a significant step backward for evidence-based policymaking…” on the local level. (Urban Institute)


Open Data Day is coming up this Saturday. If you are planning to join an event but unsure of what to work on, consider this idea from Open Knowledge:

“Lucky for us, there is a tool that tries to look at the community’s burning topics and set the way forward. It is called the International Open Data Conference Roadmap, and it is waiting for you to interact with and shape further…Got 30 minutes? Here is my suggested activity with the report and I would love to get comments on it on our forum! Got only 10 minutes? Pick a topic from the roadmap, the one that you feel most connected to, read about, a write a comment about it on our forum.”


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