This week, the Government of Ontario officially launched their open government initiative. The strategy includes three pillars: open data, open information, and open dialogue. Of the plan, Premier Kathleen Wynne notes, “Part of this process will be the use of innovative models of public engagement, giving you a greater say on a range of items, including transit, regional economic development, and fiscal responsibility. We will also create a central space online where people can find information about government consultations, get engaged in that process, and express their ideas on government policy.” The province’s open data portal currently contains around 250 datasets, and a survey about attitudes towards open government is currently available. We hope to see more concrete initiatives, for example an access to information request portal, from the province soon.
Publish What You Fund, the global campaign for aid transparency, published the 2013 Aid Transparency Index (ATI) this week. The report is the industry standard for assessing foreign assistance transparency among the world’s major donors. It not only assesses what information is published, but also the usefulness of that information.
Next week, the Open Government Partnership will meet in London for their annual summit. A recent blog post from The Guardian serves as an excellent primer for the summit and reminds us why the OGP is vital to journalism and argues that bringing media into the open government movement is the next step towards true transparency.