This week in open data and transparency: remembering the order of things

As a part of the transparency and open data community, we at AidData hold the belief that greater transparency will lead to more accountability among government, donors and civil society. Unfortunately, there has been rather little concrete support to back up this belief. 
 
Which is why I’m so excited about the Sunlight Foundation’s new research project to evaluate impacts of technology-driven transparency policies around the world. So far they’ve posted their five starting hypotheses and guiding questions. Do you agree with them, and is there anything you would add?
 
The World Bank’s infographic about what the world would look like if it only had 100 people made its rounds last week. While the statistics such as the 48 people that would be living on less than $2 a day and the 7 people that would have a college degree produced an instant gut-clenching reaction, I was surprised at the only 30 active internet users. 
 
You mean to say that only 30 people would have access to all the open datasets, interactive maps, dashboards made, as well as my awesome blog posts!? 
 
It’s a good reminder of the order of things.
 
Of course, this doesn’t mean we give up, but it does explain why all our tools and open data don’t create an explosion of amazing results that we want to see. It's a process. In order for people to get all reach a point where they are interacting and responding to the information available to them, it is necessary for the data to first be available.
 
Which explains why the Open Government Partnership so strongly entreated Germany to make sure the “open” government data portal follows the 10 guiding principles for opening government information, and they aren’t the only ones asking Germany for more open data
 
The interaction between civil society and governments follows next. Those working toward this point should consider participating in the DataDivewith the World Bank coming up. This article also highlighted an interesting point of view about How the Social Sector Can Better Use Data. Also helpful to consider are these 10 ways ICTs can support citizen engagement with governments, as well as 10 common monitoring and evaluation mistakes.
 
Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.
Tags: This Week