The last few months have been an exciting time at Global Integrity. Beyond our specific program areas (details below), I’ve been particularly pleased with our efforts – along with our friends at the Sunlight Foundation – to kick-start a conversation about how domestic efforts to defend democratic norms might draw on lessons from outside the US. See our blogpost on Bad Governance Close to Home, and a short note on a recent meeting held at the OpenGov Hub.
We’ve also been pleased to contribute to the conversation about how data can help drive progress towards addressing sectoral and service delivery problems and to tackling corruption. Our take is that if data is to make a difference, it needs to be leveraged in ways that can shift the incentives and political dynamics that are at the heart of governance-related challenges, and that one way of doing this is through locally-driven and learning-centered efforts to craft solutions to particular problems. See our blogpost on Exploring How Data Can Make a Difference and an excellent Open Data Charter discussion about using open data to tackle corruption, with me jumping in at 35 minutes and 35 seconds.
We’ve also had some good news on the funding front, with the Open Society Foundations stepping up to support a second phase of our innovative work on fiscal governance in Mexico, and the Hewlett Foundation deciding to invest in our efforts to explore the value and limits of adaptive learning for open governance for another three years!
What We’ve Been Doing
At the beginning of July, we published the finalized data for round 5 of the Africa Integrity Indicators which covers key aspects of governance, social development and anti-corruption mechanisms at the national level across all 54 African countries. The data is an entry point to better understand what domestic actors care about and to highlight the implementation gap between what the law says should happen, and what actually happens in practice.
In other news, we have concluded field work in Georgia and Tunisia, and we’re making headway toward better understanding why and how citizens act against corruption when they are offered mechanisms to do so. We expect the final report to be ready for sharing by September 2017. Related Blogs
Playing Our Part to Advance Governance in Africa: Africa Integrity Indicators – 5th Round – Now Available!
We’ve also been working with partners in Tanzania to produce a series of forthcoming newspaper articles that build on our recent research into the Open Government Partnership (OGP), and offer guidance for open government reformers seeking to support transparency and accountability under the Magufuli administration. In addition to these projects, we’re hard at work developing new initiatives with the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency and the Open Data Charter. We’re also in conversation with the OGP as they try they work out how to make adaptive learning and coalition building more central to the National Action Plan cycle, in order to close the gap between commitments and implementation.
Learning to Make the Political Personal, and Other Lessons from Manila
What We’ve Been Doing
We’re happy to say we are kicking off a second phase of our work to Follow the Money in Mexico in collaboration with the Mexican Institute for Access to Information and Gestión Social y Cooperación (GESOC) and with support from the Open Society Foundations. We are working with 5 states, and supporting their efforts to leverage fiscal data and citizen engagement to improve the use of public resources, and address locally prioritized development challenges. Starting later this year, we will be using our treasure hunt methodology to engage local stakeholders in assessing the fiscal governance landscape in their states, and designing a toolkit to guide governments and civil society as they make progress towards more open fiscal governance. Stay tuned!
What We’ve Been Doing
We’re exploring a variety of potential projects with respect to money in politics. We’re in discussions with colleagues at Hivos about how we might work together to build on our Campaign Finance Indicators, and help country reformers put our data to use in their advocacy efforts. We’re also staying in close touch with International IDEA as our colleagues there think through the future of their own political finance database, and consider how to connect data with the issues people care about at country level.
Closer to home, we’ve recently chatted with the enterprising city clerks in Austin, Texas, to learn more about their fascinating campaign finance data portal. And we’re in the midst of scoping the various ways in which other cities, counties, and states are tackling campaign finance issues, and working out how we might more effectively support local reformers in their work in the US.
What We’ve Been Doing
The OpenGov Hub has been busy the past few months continuing many of the collaboration and community activities started in the first quarter. In particular we’ve held a virtual exchange with Hive CoLab in Kampala, as part of our efforts to create a global network of support and collaboration for other hubs. Besides our external events, we have held a handful of members-only events, including a four part workshop series on business development. Our membership has continued to grow, as we have added several new hot desk members, such as Mercy Corps, Root Change, and Transparency International. With summer vacations abounding, we’re also launching a Hub wellness initiative to discover ways we can support our community.
Seeking Global Lessons for US Democracy
Collecting Feedback in a Coworking Community (Let the People Vote for their Coffee)
Global Integrity champions transparent and accountable governance around the world by producing innovative research and taking action to inform, connect, and empower civic, private, and public reformers seeking more open societies. We support local stakeholders, including both government and civil society, with our assistance in putting adaptive learning — a structured, data-driven, problem-focused and iterative approach to learning by doing, which engages with local political realities while drawing on experiences from elsewhere — at the heart of their efforts to design and implement effective governance reforms.