In theory, making information open and available leads to more transparent decisions of governments, aid agencies, corporations and other such institutions because stakeholders at different levels push for accountability and better governance. That is why civil society actors have been working on transparency, accountability and good governance for years. Now new actors on the scene are developing technology tools and applications for use in this area.
From efforts such as Huduma, Twaweza,Cuidemos el Voto, CGNet Swara, Fix My Street, Sunlight Foundation, World Bank’s Open Data, the Open Government Partnershipand the International Aid Transparency Initiative(IATI), and a wide range of others; new technology and social media are playing an important role in making information more accessible, holding leaders and decision makers accountable, and mobilizing citizens to participate and have their say.
But are these groups talking to each other? How do grassroots initiatives shape and feed into larger scale efforts and vice versa? What can existing efforts learn from these new entrants? What lessons and good practices learned over the years, should be upheld? Or discarded? What technology tools best support work in this area? What are the risks and challenges? Where there are gaps and opportunities? And what are the best approaches for donors and key decision makers in the field?
We’ll have two lead discussants start the conversation on these issues:
- Hapee de Groot from Hivos will talk about several initiatives that support openness and transparency along with engaged participatory citizen action and politics, including the work of some Hivos’ partners, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative(TAI), IATI and open standards, and the Hivos/Omidyar collaboration through the ATTI fund.
- Katrin Verclas from Mobile Active will share highlights from the upcoming report mDemocracy: Power in the People’s Hands. The report assesses the state of the field of mobile technology, good governance, democracy, and accountability, including aspects of human rights, elections and electoral processes, government services to citizen, and citizen action and advocacy. Copies of the report will be available to participants.
Please join your Technology Salon colleagues at our first (of many) Technology Salons in New York City organized by Linda Raftree of Plan International USA:
Transparency and New Technology
November Technology Salon
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
3 UN Plaza East 44th Street
(between 1st and 2nd Avenue, south side of the street)
New York City, NY
We’ll have hot coffee and donuts for a morning rush, but seating is limited and the UNICEF House is in a secure building. So RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance or you are on the waitlist.
For those attending, please arrive 15 minutes early to clear security and be sure to bring photo ID. You will be escorted to the meeting room.