[ckan-discuss] Sunlight Foundation`s new international program

Julia Keserű jkeseru at sunlightfoundation.com
Thu Mar 14 15:55:29 GMT 2013

(Again, sorry for cross-posting.)


Sunlight`s role in the global open government
by Júlia Keseru <http://sunlightfoundation.com/people/jkeseru/>March 13,
2013, 3:17 p.m.

In the last few years, Sunlight has found inspiration from all over the
world in the actions of different stakeholders. We have been experiencing
the emergence of surprisingly innovative government reforms such as
the transparency
law of Hamburg in Germany <links:
the digitization of public procurement processes in
the government database tracking expenditure in
the numerous national data repositories using open source
software<http://ckan.org/> designed
by our fellow NGOs. Some of these reforms are results of close consultation
between civil society and national governments, and while we certainly
acknowledge the complexity of such processes, these examples fuel
Sunlight’s work. Innovation also comes through multi-stakeholder
initiatives focusing on specific issue areas such as transparency in aid
distribution <http://www.aidtransparency.net/> or the extractive
industries<http://eiti.org/>, just
to mention a few. And last but definitely not least, Sunlight has always
drawn most inspiration from its allies in civil society: NGOs, individual
citizen hackers and activists abroad who develop novel tools, catalyze
reform and do their best to defeat political apathy in their own

The number of practitioners and academics using the power of technology to
create open and accountable parliaments increases rapidly, with great
examples from the U.K. <http://www.theyworkforyou.com/>,
, Poland <http://sejmometr.pl/>, Germany <http://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de/>,
the EU <http://parltrack.euwiki.org/>,
 andColombia <http://www.congresovisible.org/>. Sunlight has helped the
National Democratic Institute and the Latin American Network for
Legislative Transparency create a network of over a hundred of
parliamentary monitoring organizations <http://www.openingparliament.org/>,
who now use this forum to share ideas on engaging citizens in parliamentary
 or increasing responsiveness among
And while there’s an animated, dare I say heated discussion around the
ultimate purpose and meaning of open government data -- we ourselves are
also in the process of researching why transparency
if it matters at all --, that does not stop reform-minded colleagues in
Chile <http://www.poderopedia.org/>,
, Hungary <http://kmonitor.hu/index.html?plang=en> and
India<http://www.ipaidabribe.com/> from
creating sophisticated tools that detect corruption or business influence
in decision-making. And the list is long.

Sunlight is continuing to refine its goals for international transparency
work. And while broadening our focus to the global transparency ecosystem
was as natural an extension of our work as Sunlight`s new municipal
enhancing government accountability outside the Unites States requires a
deeper understanding of the opportunities, challenges and problems
different nations - and regions - face. No matter how hard for instance we
try to create global norms around data disclosure policies in national
parliaments, advocacy for machine-readable formats can easily prove labor
in vain for developing nations where Internet penetration is still
strikingly low. Sunlight may as well be eager to promote its most
successful tools in other countries, the lack of relevant data will soon
put an end to our efforts - as would be the case if we simply tried to
replicate Influence Explorer <http://influenceexplorer.com/> in countries
where campaign finance data or lobbyist registries are non-existent. And no
matter how desperate we are to develop the capacity of our NGO allies
abroad, the absence of stable funding or a completely ignorant government
will require enormous flexibility and creativity from our side.

With those challenges in mind, Sunlight is planning to find compelling
evidence in research, remain realistic in expectations and open to the
suggestions and needs of its future global allies. Inspired by our amazing
partners who do pioneer work in the field - such as the Open Knowledge
Foundation <http://okfn.org/local/> or mySociety <http://diy.mysociety.org/> -,
and at the same time mindful of the diversity and the rapid expansion of
the international open data community, we are poised to focus our global
norm-setting and capacity-building efforts to the issue areas where our
expertise may prove the most fruitful: legislative openness, the
transparency of political finance and the new international movement for
open government data. Within our new procurement
we will pay special attention to procurement systems and disclosure
policies in government contracts. In the next few years, we will start
pushing for global norms around data disclosure policies in party and
campaign finance, try to instigate action on the local level in all of our
focus areas, find key actors and create forums for knowledge-sharing,
provide technological advice through consultations and formal staff
exchanges and find the best tools to promote in house and outside Sunlight.

In the upcoming months, we are planning to write more about our plans and
how transparency practitioners can be involved in Sunlight`s international
work. We will regularly blog about pioneer projects and tools that aim at
reducing corruption and increasing government accountability with the help
of technology. Sunlight wishes to pursue in a collaborative manner, so we
are asking you to help our efforts by sharing your stories, challenges and
the open government projects you are aware of, by leaving a comment here or
sending a direct email to us. We also encourage you to take a closer look
at Sunlight tools <http://sunlightfoundation.com/projects/>, our
policy work<http://sunlightfoundation.com/policy/> and
the way we contribute to investigative
reporting<http://reporting.sunlightfoundation.com/> and
let us know if Sunlights know-how may be of any relevance to you.

On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:46 AM, Julia Keserű <
jkeseru at sunlightfoundation.com> wrote:

> *(Sorry for cross-posting.)*
> *
> Hello everybody,
> After several years of working in the Hungarian transparency community, I
> have recently moved to Washington, DC to join Sunlight Foundation<http://sunlightfoundation.com/>and coordinate their new international program. I am truly honored by the
> opportunity and thrilled to let you know that this fascinating organization
> has decided to deepen their involvement in the global transparency
> movement.
> As part of its international program, Sunlight plans to push broad
> initiatives that are helping to define how open government works globally,
> developing the capacity of its NGO allies throughout the world, catalyzing
> future work by building research and evidence that support their
> priorities, and serving as a hub in the network of international
> transparency practitioners. Our major focus areas for the next coming years
> are legislative transparency where Sunlight has already taken a leading
> role in creating and coordinating a forum<http://www.openingparliament.org/>for national Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations (PMOs), influence/money
> in politics and the transparency of political finance, and open data in
> general, where Sunlight plans to join with other groups to pursue
> meaningful transparency and accountability from open data.
> At this stage, I would really appreciate if you shared your stories,
> projects and challenges directly with me or just reach out to me if you
> think that Sunlight`s international program may be of any relevance to you.
> I’m really looking forward to working with all of you!
> Best,
> Júlia Keserű*
> --
> Júlia Keserű
> International Program Coordinator
> 1818 N Street NW, Suite 300
> Washington, DC 20036
> [image: Sunlight Foundation] <http://sunlightfoundation.com/> [image:
> Sunlight Foundation on Facebook]<http://www.facebook.com/sunlightfoundation>[image:
> Sunlight Foundation on Twitter] <http://twitter.com/sunfoundation>[image:
> OpenGov on Reddit] <http://www.reddit.com/r/sunlight> [image: Sunlight
> Foundation on YouTube] <http://www.youtube.com/sunlightfoundation> <http://sunlightfoundation.com/feeds/latest/>

Júlia Keserű
International Program Coordinator

1818 N Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
(1) 202-742-1520 *280

[image: Sunlight Foundation] <http://sunlightfoundation.com/> [image:
Sunlight Foundation on
Sunlight Foundation on Twitter] <http://twitter.com/sunfoundation>[image:
OpenGov on Reddit] <http://www.reddit.com/r/sunlight> [image: Sunlight
Foundation on YouTube] <http://www.youtube.com/sunlightfoundation>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/ckan-discuss/attachments/20130314/c03f40b9/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the ckan-discuss mailing list