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What Citizens Can Teach Civil Servants About Open Government

Brazil’s largest city is embarking on an ambitious experiment to educate its public employees on the benefits of transparency. Reposted from Governing Magazine by Maria Hermossilla and Beth Simone Noveck An open government is one that is transparent, participatory and collaborative. But moving from traditional government operating behind closed doors to more open institutions, where civil servants […]

Hacking SkillFinder: How The World Bank’s Talent Network Can Reduce Poverty

C0-authored by Maria Paz Hermosilla In the mid-eighteenth century, Denis Diderot and Jean-Baptiste D’Alembert began publishing their twenty-eight volume encyclopedia with contributions from Enlightenment greats such as Rousseau, Montesquieu and Voltaire. The Encyclopédie endeavored to categorize and widely disseminate secular knowledge systematically in order to shift people’s thinking toward a secular Enlightenment worldview. It is […]

Participatory Democracy’s Emerging Tools

Reprinted from Governing Magazine With Arnaud Sahuguet As we explore the role of new technologies in changing how government makes policies and delivers services, one form of technology is emerging that has the potential to foster decision-making that’s not only more effective but also more legitimate: platforms for organizing communication by groups across a distance. […]

Sign Up for GovLab Academy Coaching Programs

Thanks to the generous support of the Knight Foundation, this term the Governance Lab Academy – a training program designed to promote civic engagement and innovation – is launching a series of coaching programs. Geared to the teams and individuals inside and outside of government planning to undertake a new project or trying to figure […]

#OpenData Victory: Court Orders IRS to Make Public Machine Readable 990 Non-Profit Tax Return Data

The Federal District Court for the Northern District of California ruled this week that the IRS must turn over the original, machine-readable versions of nine tax returns filed with the IRS to Plaintiff PublicResource.org. (Disclosure: I filed affidavits in the case on behalf of PublicResource and its demand to make these returns available). By law, non-profit tax […]

OpenGov Voices: Transparency is not just television

Cross-posted from the Sunlight Foundation. In 2009, Larry Lessig published a headline-grabbing piecein the New Republic entitled “Against Transparency,” arguing that the “naked transparency movement” might inspire disgust in, rather than reform of, our political system. In their recent Brookings Institution paper, “Why Critics of Transparency Are Wrong,” Gary Bass, Danielle Brian and Norm Eisen […]

From Governing: Measuring the Impact of Public Innovation in the Wild

Reprinted from my monthly column in Governing: With complex, seemingly intractable problems such as inequality, climate change and affordable access to health care plaguing contemporary society, traditional institutions such as government agencies and nonprofit organizations often lack strategies for tackling them effectively and legitimately. For this reason, this year the MacArthur Foundation launched its Research Network […]

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Oxford Internet Institute “Internet and Society Awards”

More years ago than I care to recall, I studied at Christ Church College. At that point, I came to the University of Oxford to study allied cultural policy after World War II. I was interested in the ways that each of the different post-war powers used the media of their day, ranging from film […]

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An Independent Open Contracting Partnership is Launched

Each year, governments around the world spend over $9 trillion dollars of citizens’ money through public contracts. All too often, however, “little to no data is made available to the public about these contracts. If data is available, it is often supplied in ways which make analysis very challenging or downright impossible,” writes the Open […]

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Solving Public Problems With Technology

In early September we started teaching the semester-long course “Solving Public Problems with Technology.”  You can view the course syllabus here – http://govlab.github.io/academy-courses/Solving-Public-Problems-Fall-2014/ and its curated readings and videos, including original materials created for the program by: Alph Bingham, Founder of Innocentive talking about how to frame a problem Giff Constable, CEO of NEO Software […]

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