Tag Archives: access to information

Democracy that Delivers #91: Hudson Hollister on how Open Data Supports Accountability and Business Opportunities

From left: guest host Ryan Musser with podcast guest Hudson Hollister

Hudson Hollister quit his congressional job in 2012 and used his retirement savings to found The Data Coalition.  His mission: to make U.S. government spending information more transparent and publicly available.  The Data Coalition successfully pushed for new laws requiring federal agencies to release key financial figures on one internet site and use the same format.

Despite some big implementation challenges, Hollister says the requirements make government leaders more accountable to the public and provide new business opportunities to the private sector.  In this week’s podcast, Hollister outlines next steps and new value propositions for entrepreneurs.  CIPE’s Ryan Musser provides a global perspective, sharing his experiences about coalition building among competing businesses in Africa.

Visit the Data Coalition website for more information, news, events, and updates.

See also our recent CIPE project surrounding Open Internet.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #86: Daniel O’Maley and Sarah Moulton on the Importance of Open Internet

From left: guest host Maiko Nakagaki, podcast guests Sarah Moulton and Daniel O’Maley, and host Pamela Kelley Lauder

This week’s podcast guests discuss the relationship between a thriving democracy and an open and accessible internet.

O’Maley is associate editor at the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), and Sarah Moulton is a senior manager of technology and innovation at the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

CIPE has partnered with CIMA and NDI to launch A Democratic Framework to Interpret Open Internet Principles, an initiative intended to counter oppressive actions and preserve internet openness. The initiative is composed of nine principles that reflect a commitment to inclusion, participation, and accountability in an open and free internet.

In the podcast, O’Maley explains that open internet, without the threat of government surveillance, gives citizens access to independent news media and information. Access to open internet also allows citizens to exercise their right to communicate freely with one another.

Moulton provides examples of authoritarian states that have shut down the internet, or slowed down internet speed, to silence opposition parties during elections.

The public is encouraged to provide feedback on A Democratic Framework to Interpret Open Internet Principles by October 31, 2017.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

Promoting Government Transparency and Empowering Citizens through Open Data

Young participants at the Code for Good Hackathon for Girls Who Code in New York (via Flickr)

As our lives become increasingly digitized, governments must respond to calls to make information available for public consumption on the Internet. Proponents of open data advocate for the release of information collected by governments in formats accessible to all citizens. But what is open data, and how can it help people make sense of their world?

Governments routinely collect facts affecting constituents and regarding a variety of topics including health, the environment, and the economy. According to Open Knowledge International, a global non-profit committed to empowering civil society to harness the power of open data for social impact, data is considered “open” when it is accessible, reusable, and available to all. It is not enough for governments to partially release data or limit its distribution. Instead, for a government to be truly open, datasets must be published in full, in machine-readable formats, and on a central, accessible online platform. Governments should also publicize the release of data, rather than publish information silently. Data.gov, a website administered by the U.S. government, is an example of a government making data publically available online. The website’s information is organized into 14 categories including climate, health, education and public safety.

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Mobile App Gives Investors Instant Access to Corporate Governance Information

App demonstration, watch the full video on the website here.

The recently launched Elapedia app gives investors around the world instant access to corporate governance practices at 100 publically listed companies in the four Pacific Alliance countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). The free Spanish-language app, which relies on publically available data, provides information about boards’ policies related to managing conflicts of interest, risk management, and other topics of interest to investors.

“Until now, there was no easy way to compare information on corporate governance between Pacific Alliance countries,” said Andrew Wilson, CIPE managing director. “With this useful tool, investors can quickly become informed on corporate governance requirements. It’s a way to access that information without having to dig through multiple sources. This app will be a huge benefit to large companies looking to invest, put up a subsidiary or buy a company in Pacific Alliance countries.”

The Elapedia app, which was supported by CIPE and developed by Governance Consultants S.A., represents an important step toward the economic and commercial integration of Pacific Alliance countries. By efficiently harmonizing corporate governance practices, the app will greatly improve the flow of investments and help to strengthen Latin American economies.

Established in 2011, the Pacific Alliance’s goals include establishing the free movement of goods, services and people; driving economic growth; and overcoming socioeconomic inequality. Pacific Alliance countries have made significant progress toward improving standards for corporate governance by fulfilling requirements set forth by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Wilson said.

“With this user-friendly app, CIPE hopes to provide a valuable public service in line with one of our key focus areas—encouraging good corporate governance,” Wilson said. “Good corporate governance is critical to the integrity of business operations and to the overall institutional health of countries because it creates demand for better public governance and prevents devastating economic failures. The Elapedia app is intended to promote transparency and accountability, level the playing field, and encourage the disclosure or elimination of conflicts of interest.”

The Elapedia App can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

John Zemko is the Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean at CIPE. 

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #72: Randa Al-Zoghbi on the launch of finance app Tamweely

Podcast guest Randa Al-Zoghbi

In this episode of Democracy that Delivers, podcast guest Randa Al-Zoghbi, CIPE’s Program Director in Egypt, discussed the release of their new app, Tamweely, in partnership with the World Bank.

The app is designed to connect financiers to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Egypt seeking start-up funding, as well as to provide business education tools and information about the institutional and legal environment for entrepreneurs and startups. Al-Zoghbi also discusses the economic situation in Egypt and the many challenges facing the business community there, and where she sees the app going in the future.

To find out more about Tamweely, visit the app store, android store, or go to their website: tamweely.org.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

M&E, Technology and Network Outages in Kenya

Workshop participants in Nairobi

This piece originally appeared on the Panopoly Digital Blog

Last week, I was in Nairobi, Kenya with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and their Kenyan partners from a wide variety of organisations, including civil society organisations and business membership associations from across Kenya. I was delivering a two-day training workshop on monitoring, evaluation and communication, how to use technology for those M&E and advocacy activities, and how to think about digital security.

CIPE strengthens democracy worldwide through private enterprise and market reforms. In Kenya, it works with partners to build policy and regulatory reform and provide services to regional members. Since Kenya’s devolution and decentralisation of government launched in 2013, CIPE’s Kenya partners have been working with their audience at a local level to ensure that local governments are accountable to their citizens.

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Democratic and Economic Development in the Digital Era

In the last decade, new information and communications technologies (ICTs) have become less expensive and more accessible for people around the world. According to the International Telecommunications Union, more than 3 billion people (nearly 47 percent of all the people on earth) now use the internet. Likewise, by the end of 2016, the total number of mobile broadband subscription was expected to reach 3.6 billion. This growing global usage of ICT has made it easier for citizens and organizations to access information and share data, conduct business online, and virtually network with others. Rapid technological advances, in turn, are poised to have a profound impact on democratic and economic development around the world.

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