This week: Maps, apps and open budgets

While much of the data news around the world is about transparency, increasing access, more ways to share and more ways to use it, the recent NSA leak controversy has others, like Brazil, seeking ways to make their personal and national data more secure. So apparently there are things that people are keeping from their Facebook status updates.
While Brazil is tightening up, many countries in Africa are still working on opening up their budgets. However, Matt Andrews from the Kennedy School at Harvard suggested that some African countries have upped their transparency of budget formulation while keeping budget execution well hidden in order to up their OBI score. 
IBP questions the analysis method and offers some other insights as well. Such as the fact that one large problem lies in the number of budget documents that are produced but not made available to the public.
One thing all government ministries should take a look at is The GovLoop Guide to Incorporating Geographic Information Systems in Government. The guide goes into topics such as how it can transform agencies, increase transparency and improve citizen engagement. The overall focus being that as humans we communicate widely with images, making maps an obvious and effective tool for communicating information.
One great example is new initiative called MicroMappers that is developing app “Clickers” that allow volunteers to tag images of disasters shared on Twitter. Don’t get confused, these won’t be tags like #yepitswet or #doyousmellsmoke? These are preselected tags that allow the clicker to say how severe the damage is, or whether a tweet is asking for help, reporting damage, or offering help and services, and to geotag locations. These tags will help responders know where to focus their responses on first, getting to the most dire situations from the start.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could hedge off the increasing number of disasters that takes place every year? Jeffrey Sachs argued that Sustainable Development Goals need to be set and a global enterprise brought together to target these goals, much like has been done to reverse ozone depletion, eradication of smallpox, and efforts to reach the MDGs. He marks three steps for making the SDGs a success “backcasting” (set the goal), “road-mapping” (technology that will get us there), and “global co-operation.” 
#sdgs4earth #whenlessismore #haveagoodweek
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.


Amazing! Taryn, nice post.