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Tag Archive: crowdsourcing

In Philippines, Summer of Potential for Open Government

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As a member of the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee, the Philippines is uniquely positioned to be a highly visible leader on open government. However, the legislature’s failure to pass a freedom of the information bill has brought this role into question. So, what’s going on in the Philippines? Manila 2 In the parliament, bills on internet freedom, legislative crowdsourcing, and parliamentary openness have all been introduced this summer. The other branches of government are also turning increasingly towards technology to improve governance. All this suggests that the Philippines’ role as an open government leader may be back on track, but only if this summer’s promising work is sustained.

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Crowdsourcing to Fight Corruption: Aleksei Navalny and the RosPil Experiment

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NavalnyA few weeks ago, Russia’s most popular and controversial opposition figure, anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny, was tossed in prison on charges of conspiring to steal money from a state owned lumber corporation -- only to be set free less than a day later pending action from a higher court. The shocking turn of events has once again thrust Navalny and his campaign against public sector corruption into the global limelight. While Navalny’s legal future may occupy the headlines, we wanted to focus on Navalny’s anti-corruption website RosPil, a state procurement monitoring site where troves of government contracts and tenders are scrutinized by eager volunteers searching for signs of corruption.

Corruption is an enormous political and economic problem in Russia. Most of the corruption, which effectively cuts the country’s growth rate in half according to economists Sergey Guriyev and Oleg Tsyvinsky, is tied up in the government's procurement system. Former President Medvedev’s administration suggested that upwards of 1 trillion rubles are embezzled through the state acquisition process every year. It is this rampant corruption that Aleksei Navalny, who is well known for his brand of tech-empowered protest, is trying to stamp out.

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How Unique is the New U.S. Open Data Policy?

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The White House’s new Executive Order may be significantly different than the open data policies that have come before it on the federal level, but where does it stand in a global -- and local -- context? Many folks have already jumped at the chance to compare this new US executive order and the new policies that accompany it to a similar public letter issued by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010, but little attention has been paid to one of the new policy’s most substantial provisions: the creation of a public listing of agency data based on an internal audits of information holdings. As administrative as this provision might sound, the creation of this listing (and the accompanying scoping of what information isn’t yet public, but could be released) is part of the next evolution of open data policies (and something Sunlight has long called for as a best practice). So does this policy put the U.S. on the leading edge?

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