[OpenSpending] Fw: cooperating with the OKF on the new initiative
rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Feb 11 09:52:30 UTC 2013
I note your original email never went through to the list - see the
archives where there is no sign of it ...  (did you send it from
the email address you were subscribed with).
Anyway, great to hear from you, and some thoughts re your suggestions
On 8 February 2013 09:17, v.mischenko <v_mischenko at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Following the advise of Rufus
> Hi there,
> Good to hear from you but best thing is to email either of these 2 public lists:
> Regards, Rufus
> I have posted to okfn-discuss at lists.okfn.org some time ago, but unfortunately got no answer.
> Maybe the first posting was to the incorrect address. I hope this list is the right one.
> Can you please look at my request for cooperation and answer whether it is interesting for OpenSpending to look at it?
> Best regards, Valer Mischenko.
> --- On Sun, 1/27/13, v.mischenko <v_mischenko at yahoo.com> wrote:
> From: v.mischenko <v_mischenko at yahoo.com>
> Subject: cooperating with the OKF on the new initiative
> To: okfn-discuss at lists.okfn.org
> Date: Sunday, January 27, 2013, 12:45 PM
> Hi there,
> I have for the first time seen the presentation of OpenSpending at 26C3 in Berlin and followed the developments closely. You are already very far in helping the public to understand governmental spendings, but we can make a step further – put spendings under the direct control of the public. I know that sounds unreal, but it is possible.
There is quite a bit of participatory budgeting work going on and
which OpenSpending is very interested in. For a great overview see
this talk by Tiago Peixoto of the World Bank at OKFestival last
> I am working on a new initiative in my free time. The Ontsloten (Dutch for unlocked) initiative is intended to increase citizens' participation in decision making on public spendings. This is in the first instance by providing real-time insight in financial flows of various level governments.
Great to hear!
> In short I want to get governmental data unlocked on a public website ran by volunteers. This is the first step envisaged. The next one will be collectively deciding where the tax money be spent on. The ultimate goal is that people themselves define generic goals for their smaller or larger community and how much taxes they collectively need to pay to achieve these goals. That's, I believe, is the way to change the world to the better.
> This new initiative isn't about copying OpenSpending or other instrumental initiatives, which help to process / visualize scarcely published, succinct and belated data of governments. This is more about a social innovation intended to introduce new forms of self-regulation.
This sounds great. We always believe that getting (and presenting)
data is only a (small) part of the story. Data that isn't used, that
doesn't result in improvements is of limited value. We strongly
believe in seeing the data used and useful and the project has had
discussions with people like Tiago about using OpenSpending as part of
a participatory budgeting process.
Also along these lines is the OpenSpending.mobi idea: http://openspending.mobi/
> The idea is to start on the local level – the level of a smaller municipality, and then expand to higher levels – province, state, suprastate levels. With a formal Citizens' Initiative we have managed to put this topic on the political agenda of our home town. This will be discussed coming Tuesday. If this will be supported by the local politics, then we'll start on our town's level with a program defining how the financial data will flow to the public in real time.
Definitely sounds like the right approach start at smallest level and work up.
> Also at the higher level at the moment in The Netherlands there is a political initiative being undertaken to change the Law of Open Governance. By talking to the members of the Lower House I am pursuing a clause in the new law obliging to provide open digital information in real time where possible. The information on governmental finances is in principle publicly accessible, but too highly aggregated and significantly delayed, not allowing to reliably control spendings based on provided information. Having solely access to this delayed and high-level information on spendings allows only auditing of these data, but that's still far from directing spendings.
> Why am I writing to you guys? That's not my full time job, I am seeking for assistance, and the Open Knowledge Foundation seemed to be the best party to cooperate with on creation of tools which would build the bridge between the governmental IT systems and the OpenSpending platform (or other visualization tools if necessary).
We always welcome new collaboration :-)
> My question is whether it is interesting for the OKF to start thinking together on this stuff and whether you have resources to help with building of a prototype for such system. That's needed because governments will not want to spend a penny on that. We can likely spawn them only if we make it easy for them.
I think OpenSpending folks would be very interested in this but I
should emphasize that we can't necessarily commit, say, development
resources. OpenSpending is a community based project and it is largely
up to participants what they work on. Where we do have grant-funded
work it is usually on a specific area (we could work to try and find
such funding). Immediate first steps would be spec out a bit more what
you have in mind. What about writing a 1-2 pager giving a bit more
detail of exactly what you imagine this system to be like?
> What do you think?
> Best regards, Valer
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