Cease and Desist Order Issued Against German FOI Portal "Frag den Staat"

  German Ministry of the Interior has issued   Frag den Staat , (a German FOI portal run by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany) with a cease and desist order, for publishing a document on EU party quotas which they obtained under the FOI law. Below is the English translation from the Frag den Staat blog. Please republish and lend your support. Access to data is supported by the ODI, OKF, the OGP and many other world wide organizations. Cease and desist by the German government for publishing a document received under FOI law The German Federal Ministry of the Interior has sent a cease and desist order to the Freedom of Information (FOI) portal for publishing a document received under the German federal FOI law. The document – a five page study written by government staff – analyses a ruling by the German constitutional court in November 2011 which declared the 5% party quota for the European Parliament elections as unconstitutional. The study concludes that setting a

Make 2014 the year you get involved: Code for America in NC

Posted on January 2, 2014 by Ian Henshaw What is Code for America? Code for America is a 501(c)3 non-profit that envisions a government by the people, for the people, that works in the 21st century. Our programs change how we participate in government by: connecting citizens and governments to design better services, encouraging low-risk settings for innovation; and, supporting a competitive civic tech marketplace. Code for America in NC In 2014, NC will have a large percentage of the Code for America activities in the US.NC Cities with a Code for America Fellowship Program Charlotte NC Cities with Code for America Brigades Asheville Cary Charlotte Durham Morrisville (forming) Raleigh What is a Code for America Fellowship? The Fellowship is Code for America’s best known program and consists of a one year residency placing developers, designers and researchers within local governments. Over the course of the program, fellows and government partners build apps, inspire new thinking am

The Citizen Experience of Transparency Portals

  CX, UX, Transparency, Open Data I suppose being a former anthropologist I have an overdeveloped interest in classification and precise descriptions. The citizen experience (CX), the user experience (UX), transparency and open data all have some overlap but are different things. These four concepts intersect in a particular kind of portal. Government transparency portals have been around for some time. Most government transparency portals suffer from many of the same issues: Organizationally driven rather than user driven design Compartmentalized data presented in an opaque, hard to decipher narrative Lack of adherence to modern design standards  Lack of design pattern development, one has to relearn how to use different transparency portals Lack of data normalization and provenance I will walk through these issues after first cleaning up some of the mess regarding definitions and concepts that intersect with government transparency portals. Open Government, Open Data Some transparenc

Open Data Used for Public Good: The Holocaust

  North Carolina Neighbors: Holocaust Speakers Bureau Two years ago I was introduced to the Holocaust Speakers Bureau as part of a project to document local survivors. Sharon Halperin and Debbie Long of Chapel Hill along with Peter Stein have been instrumental in gathering the media assets for this project. Peter Stein is himself a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust in Prague and is now a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina. Documenting Genocide The purpose of our group is to bring Holocaust survivors to local classrooms, board rooms, churches, mosques, synagogues and community groups so that these survivors can share their experiences. Some of our survivors lived through the hell of a concentration camp. Others were hidden by Christian families (or in one case, by the Quakers), still others managed to emigrate from Europe just as the tight quotas were completely squeezed shut, making a transcontinental journey to their new home in the United States. Can you imagine
  The Context of CX This month has been a roller coaster of travel, events and awards. I flew home from the  National League of Cities in Seattle  reflecting upon where Open Raleigh will be going in five years and more importantly, next year. Several bloggers have captured several themes I have been mulling  over and I would like to synthesize them into a buzzword I heard coined the other day "the Citizen Experience" or CX. Now this word was mentioned by  Bonner Gaylord in his recent blog article . A search on Bing brings up  Jennifer Pahlka  using the phrase in August 2012. There is now a center of citizen experience. Thinking about CX and open data in the world I live in is quite normal. As a former UX designer and webbie I have built my fair share of interfaces. Reading the context of Councilman Gaylord's definition plays into what other thought leaders within open data and civic engagement have been discussing. It is about the citizen at the end of the day. Plain and

Raleigh Code for America Brigade: Crowdsourcing Open Raleigh

  Help Build the New Open Raleigh Originally posted to: Raleigh's Open Data Portal , which allows access to city data sets in open and standard ways for non-technical and tech savvy users is undergoing a major site redesign. The new design will require individual data set clean-up, which will require updating all of the 300 data sets to make sure the metadata is updated. Jason Hare, City of Raleigh’s Open Data Program Manager, reached out to the Code for Raleigh Brigade for assistance to help complete the job. Hare said, “Involving citizens in crowd sourcing civic engagement initiatives like Open Raleigh is at the heart of what the program is about.” Join the Code for Raleigh Brigade as we support the City of Raleigh organize hundreds of data sets. Be involved in the City’s Open Raleigh Portal and make an impact in your city. No coding skills required. Just mad civic-minded organization skills needed. The Details When: Thursday, December 5

From Open Data to Better Government: National League of Cities Congress 2013: Jonathan Feldman Guest Blog

  Jonathan Feldman I’m just returning from a lightning talk and World Cafe session at the National League of Cities Congress of Cities in Seattle, and thought it would be helpful to jot down some thoughts while they’re fresh in my mind. The theme of the session was, “Engaging Residents in Solutions: Using Data and Technology to Improve Local Government.” I was honored to be among some distinguished folks. Harvard Kennedy School’s Stephen Goldsmith stole the show with the best line of the conference when an audience member asked “to what extent should government official’s emails be open?” Goldsmith quipped, “He’s really asking ‘how much democracy can you tolerate?’ “ Ha! Alisha Green , a policy associate with the Sunlight Foundation , introduced the audience to the Foundation’s open data policy guidelines . Jeanne Holm , an evangelist with, described , which federates city data. Pretty cool. And Scott Resnick, a forward-thinking city councilman in Madison, WI