The return on investment from open government data is starting to be shown by projects such as apps for democracy. What about the current WikiLeaks cablegate release of American diplomatic cables?
All posts tagged transparency8 Posts
I recently met Julian Assange. My conversation with him helped to shine a light on for Wikileaks’ internal processes, just as Raffi Khatchadourian’s brilliant piece in the New Yorker and Julian’s TED talk also helped to do.
Communities that are most marginalized continue to be so online. People who do not have access often speak languages that are not in Unicode and live in places that have never before been mapped, often not even photographed.
Visualizations can help hold governments accountable. How much aid was promised? How much sent? How much actually received? And can what happens in Haiti change the conversation. Transparency trumps objectivity.
The outpouring of support in response to the devastating earthquake has been astounding, with over $58 million being raised by Hollywood alone through the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon organized by George Clooney. The European Union’s 27 nations are contributing $575 million. U.S. charities have raised $470 million for disaster. The U.S. is providing the largest slice of a global response that totals more than $1 billion in government pledges. Even with the Haitian government allegedly getting only 1 cent of every US aid dollar, it’s still $100 million dollars. Haiti is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, consistently ranking in the top 10 along with the likes of Iran and Turkmenistan. Even some charities, such as Yele (formerly Wyclef Jean Foundation) on the ground have been accused of mishandling records.
Last week I was in Armenia looking at the current media landscape. It was a pleasure to be back again after I was there for Barcamp Yerevan back in April. It was fun to be back and exploring the media sector in more detail, applying what I learned from the civil society tech brainstorm sessions I held.
The country has been through a lot since facing a difficult transition from being a part of the Soviet Union to the present, having gone through a war to do so. Now the country witnessed a lot of growth that stagnated after the economic crisis. A lot of wages had been imported from Russia and this is now suddenly cut off, throwing many into turmoil. However, things didn’t seem as bad in December as in April. Which says a lot given the brutality of local winters. Even cabbies switched back to saying things were “same as always” rather than “difficult”.