“A World That Counts,” released in final draft on November 6, was prepared for the Secretary General’s office amid planning for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda launching in 2015, and an urgent need for data and information to support the SDG process.
The nation of Georgia has steered continually toward more open government since its 2012 elections, but local NGOs remain ahead of leaders in promoting reform.
The country reached a watershed this fall, when the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) appointed Georgia to its steering committeee and approved Georgia’s second OGP action plan. The government set new goals for itself in transparency of political contributions and surveillance activities, and extended prior plans for online data publishing and citizen-friendly web tools.
The scene appeared normal: a small house by a pond, with occasional traffic passing, mostly trucks and laborers from the work site up the road. But Gregor MacLennan was focused on the out of place details. "A sheen of oil floating on the top" of the pond, he recalls, "the gas flare roaring over the trees, and the only source of water trickling out of the hillside with the smell of crude."
MacLennan, the coder behind Digital Democracy's new ClearWater map, did not start out as a techie. As an environmental activist, he has spent more than ten years working in the Amazon Basin, studying the harmful effects of contamination from oil driling.