This week in transparency and open government: a legacy of transparency
Yesterday the United States saw the inauguration of President Obama’s next four years. Jeremy Konyndyk, of Mercy Corps, encouraged President Obamato use these next four years to ensure his legacy within global development. With the announcement of US support to IATI, and the publication of the IATI implementation schedule and first publication of foreign assistance data in IATI standard, aid transparency and open government could, and should be a large part of President Obama’s development legacy. A strong commitment to the implementation schedule as well as promoting partner organizations to publish to IATI will be important in establishing this part of his legacy. However, open data is only a part of this process. As Linda Raftree discussed during her panel talk at the Engineers Without Borders conference, it’s really about getting the right information down to the right people in the right way.
While the US joining IATI is a big step towards the goal of making the global aid system more transparent, there are still those who are hesitant to participate. Claudia Schwegmann on the OpenAid blog addresses concerns such as, “My CEO will tear off my head, if I suggest to him that we implement IATI,” and explains how IATI can be a benefit to NGOs. A look at the pluses should keep heads from rolling and garner more positive nods towards the transparency initiative.
Conversations on transparency cover more topics than just aid. Many are also talking about resource management, while others are focusing on budget transparency. If you’re interested in the latter, the International Budget Partnership and the World Bank Institute are hosting a discussion on how to increase budget transparency around the world.
If you need some inspiration, take a quick look at what some are doing with data now available:
-- Empirical Studies of Conflict Project website launched identifies, complies, and analyzes micro-level conflict data and information on insurgency, civil war, and other sources of politically motivated violence worldwide.
-- World Bank is planning on updating the Open Data Catalog