Civic Awesome: Open Data in the News for January 24, 2014
The impact of open data continues to grow. From new legislation to helpful civic apps, we’re excited to see the community around open data getting stronger every day.
To help you keep up with all of the good news, we’ll collect the top open data stories from around the Web on this blog each week. Make sure to watch this space for updates and share what you find with the people in your network.
Civil society organizations and citizens support participating institution because they get unprecedented access to policymaking venues, public budgets and government officials. But do participatory institutions actually achieve any of these beneficial outcomes? In a new study of participatory institutions in Brazil, we find that they do. In particular, we find that municipalities with participatory programs improve the lives of their citizens.
Will 2014 finally become the year of open data? We’re certainly seeing evidence that open data is moving from the margins into the mainstream, with new uses for data that governments and other sources are making freely available to the public. But if we’re going to see open data’s promise fulfilled, it will be important for governments, and the federal government in particular, to make it easier for the public to access and use their open data.
Canada’s federal government has an abundance of data and now it’s asking Canadian software programmers and innovators to figure out how to best use it. In Canada’s first country-wide open data hackathon, dubbed CODE for Canadian Open Data Experience, Ottawa is calling on Canada’s computing and design talent to use the government’s open data to create apps that will help Canadians.
Strathcona County’s open data portal, granting more public access to county information online, is set to launch next month. Chris Kershaw, a consultant for the project, said that as a government body, the municipality is always creating data, information and knowledge. Kershaw said that open data will make Strathcona County a better government, as transparency means accountability. Other benefits include being able to inform citizens, resulting in a trustful relationship with residents, while increasing their participation and improving community engagement.