This week: Make a list and check it twice

I really like lists. Mostly, I like them because I like crossing things off of my lists. Last week, the Guardian provided me with two good ones. The first one is “Sixteen ways councils can better use data” which provides topics of conversation and some great things to cross of our lists for open data.  I really liked number three, visualizing data, which is really powerful, especially on a map. Number four, councils could use data to show their good work (show the people what you’re doing and what they paid for!). The link proffered in number two, stop prevaricating about open data, talks about not making things too complex and just making it happen.

Along this conversation topic, the Open Knowledge Foundation blog coined a new term, “Open-Washing,” in their discussion about the difference between making data available and making it truly open. It makes us stop and ask ourselves, are we truly making our data open? Or are we just “open-washing” to show our support to the effort?

Source: OKFN

Those looking to learn more about the open government movement have a lot of resources available to them. You can check out this comprehensive book review of Transparency in Politics and the Media, published last fall if you want to dive deeper into transparency in the US and the UK.

When we talk about all the opportunities these new technologies can do, it’s always good to remember the unforeseen effects that they might have on citizens and communities. This Guardian post highlights the possible wins from global technology, while also reminding us to protect those at risk from possible backlashes.

If you have a good story to tell on this topic, IFIP has issued a call for papers for their conference next year based on the theme of “Openness in ICT4D: Critical reflections on future directions.” It’s never too early for critical reflection.

The last list this week is “18 ways to iron out IATI” which gives some feedback on where we need to take IATI to improve and make it as beneficial as we all hope it can be. Say yes to crossing these off our lists!

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: open dataOpen Knowledge Foundationthe GuardianOpen-WashingiatilistsICT4D