Global Voices

Technology for Transparency

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Jan 26, 2011
Technology for Transparency data sheet 1124 Views
Sasaki, David, Renata Avila, Sopheap Chak, Jakub Górnicki, Rebekah Heacock, Victor Kaonga, Sylwia Presley, Manuella Maia Ribeiro, Namita Singh, Carrie Yang
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010

The World Wide Web and the movement for transparency and accountability in government have grown up together over the past two decades, though often in parallel, and with little research evaluating the role and potential of online technologies to bring about greater transparency, accountability and civic engagement. This report is the culmination of four months of research examining the objectives, challenges, successes and effects of online technology projects that aim to promote transparency, political accountability and civic engagement in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, China and Central & Eastern Europe.

A team of eight regional researchers documented a total of 37 case studies of relevant technology projects. Though this report contains only executive summaries of each case study, full interviews including audio podcasts and related documents, are available on our website.1 In addition to the in-depth case studies, we have also documented over 30 project listings, which provide basic descriptive information and context about related projects. This report is structured in three sections.

The introduction examines the differing aspects between traditional watchdog journalism and online media that rely on raw data sources, often directly from government websites. The introduction also aims to contextualize the benefits of transparency, accountability and civic engagement from a grassroots, networked perspective.

The second section of the report consists of regional overviews authored by each of our eight researchers. These overviews document the history of the good governance movement in each region, the role of technology in promoting transparency and accountability, and summaries of the case studies they documented. The concluding section groups case studies thematically in order draw out trends, conclusions and recommendations that apply across a number of projects.

The Potential of Mobile Phones in Citizen Media: Thoughts from the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on May 12, 2010

I had the pleasure of attending the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit in Santiago, Chile last week. The summit brought together bloggers, activists, and thinkers working to advance citizen media all around the world. While the discussions that took place were informative, most presentations and panels fell short in  recognizing the role mobile phones have played and exploring the potential mobile phones can play in citizen media.  I'd like to highlight some of the potential for mobiles in citizen media that were not adequately discussed.

Mobile Phone as a Tool for Reporting

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on May 12, 2010

At the recent Global Voices Citizen Media Summit in Santiago, Chile, I facilitated as session on "Mobile Phone as a Tool for Reporting."  We started off the discussion with the question of whether SMS is useful for reporters.

David Sasaki of Global Voices expressed skepticism about SMS as a reporting tool. Sasaki noted that Rising Voices, a Global Voices project that provides small funds to budding citizen media projects, had tried to find an SMS or mobile-based reporting project to fund, but hasn't been able to. Instead, David saw projects using technologies like Twitter for reporting. The 160 characters of SMS messages is simply not enough, David proposed, and pointed out that similar technologies like Twitter are more useful because they are able to transcend the character limitations as they can include links to much lengthier content.