Follow Us

Tag Archive: accountability

Navigating the new landscape of transparency and journalism

by

transparency in politics and the mediaThe intersecting worlds of big data, transparency and journalism are changing rapidly. Need a roadmap to the new terrain? Fortunately, the University of Oxford has teamed up with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism to produce a new volume: Transparency in Politics and the Media: Accountability and Open Government. The volume brings forth a star-studded line-up of journalists and academics to give the latest and greatest lay-of-the-land for those who want to get up to speed on what’s what. Though there’s no substitute for reading all the contributions, I’ve tried to distill some of the highlights and big picture “here’s where things are heading” insights into the three big areas the book covers: big data, transparency and journalism

Continue reading
Share This:

OpenGov Conversations: Tiago Peixoto on Open Data and Citizen Engagement – Disentangling the Relationship

by

This post is part of our series, OpenGov Conversations, an ongoing discourse featuring contributions from transparency and accountability researchers and practitioners around the world.

This post responds to the following question: What is the role of citizen engagement in the ability of transparency policies and initiatives to hold governments accountable?

As asserted by Jeremy Bentham nearly two centuries ago, “[I]n the same proportion as it is desirable for the governed to know the conduct of their governors, is it also important for the governors to know the real wishes of the governed.” Although Bentham’s historical call may come across as obvious to some, it highlights one of the major shortcomings of the current open government movement: while a strong focus is given to mechanisms to let the governed know the conduct of their governors (i.e. transparency), less attention is given to the means by which the governed can express their wishes (i.e. citizen engagement).

Continue reading
Share This:

OpenGov Conversations: Aaron Azelton on Citizen Engagement

by

This post is part of our series, OpenGov Conversations, an ongoing discourse featuring contributions from transparency and accountability researchers and practitioners around the world.

This post responds to the following question: What is the role of citizen engagement in the ability of transparency policies and initiatives to hold governments accountable?

As much as I would like to offer a simple definitive answer to the question, I have to say instead that it depends; particularly when democratic institutions and processes are being established and corresponding norms, values and practices are evolving. This view is based on 20 years working at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to increase organized citizen engagement, as a means of deepening democracy so that governments deliver a better quality of life for citizens. This work has provided a number of lessons regarding the relationship between citizen engagement, transparency and government accountability.

Continue reading
Share This:

OpenGov Conversations: Susannah Vila on Three Types of Citizen Engagement

by

This post is part of our series, OpenGov Conversations, an ongoing discourse featuring contributions from transparency and accountability researchers and practitioners around the world.

This post responds to the following question: What is the role of citizen engagement in the ability of transparency policies and initiatives to hold governments accountable?

The term civic engagement can be defined in a variety of ways. For the purposes of this conversation let’s say it consists of someone’s involvement in matters of public concern. Let’s also say that citizen engagement refers specifically to the involvement of individuals as opposed to civil society organizations.

What are the different ways that citizens engage? How does the shape of their engagement influence the shape of any government accountability that might come from it? I’ve noticed a few different types of engagement - and each type appears to have different repercussions for accountability. Here are three:

Continue reading
Share This:

Reasons (Not) to Release Data

by

Earlier this year, Sunlight was issued a challenge: Collect and refute the most common reasons not to release data. As many open access advocates, journalists, and government employees themselves will tell you, there are a variety of "no's" given when the question of data disclosure arises. Many are predictable, some are political, some personal, many practical, and all deserving of attention. Pioneers looking to move their government toward exploring and advancing information release have already come up with rebuttals to many of these refusals, but the collective knowledge is hard to share, usually trapped in email groups, discussion boards, blogs, and the memories and experiences of individuals. So, we're going to meet our challenge with an experiment.

Continue reading
Share This:

Learning why transparency matters: a new Sunlight Foundation research project

by and

We have so far been fortunate that most people intuitively grasp the value of technology-driven openness and transparency, and as a result, an impressive range of NGOs and governments around the world are building on the basic understanding that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” (Justice Brandeis’ aphorism that gave the Sunlight Foundation its name). For example, as of this writing, 58 countries have signed onto the Open Government Partnership. But the quick-to-grasp nature of transparency’s potential has its dangers: 1) that we cease asking questions about it because it has become an article of faith; and 2) that, as strong advocates for the cause, we begin to oversell its potential (and thus undermine its genuine contributions). This year, we are kicking off an attempt to both clarify and test our understandings of what transparency can do. Thanks to support from Google.org, we at Sunlight are embarking on a research project to evaluate the impacts of technology-driven transparency policies around the world. We plan to conduct a series of case studies.

Continue reading
Share This:

Rethinking civic participation

by

What would a 21st century town hall meeting look like? Is there a better way to hold public meetings than to give each person three minutes at a microphone to have their say? The city of Bell, California, might have some of the answers.

Continue reading
Share This:

CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

Charity Navigator