This week, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) is hosting extractives experts from six countries to at the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Ottawa, Canada.

Civil society actors and government officials from Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines and Tanzania arrived ahead of the IODC event for an intensive workshop on the power of open data to enhance their efforts in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The workshop marked the inauguration of our Extractives Open Data Leaders program, established to strengthen open data work within EITI country processes by improving data availability, increasing data standardization, improving open data licensing, and enhancing data reuse.

Proud to be quoted in this thoughtful piece by non-profit advisor Gina Schmeling, originally posted at Darim Online.

Transparency itself isn’t a new concept. In the US for example, nonprofits must publicly file 990s annually. This ensures accountability, and is a requisite for tax-exempt status. But transparency does not begin and end with financial information. There are new dimensions, new imperatives emerging from technology, and perhaps most profoundly, transparency is now a critical leadership skill. That feels pretty new to many of us.

But today’s leaders need to understand that transparency is no longer optional.  When the rules of the game have changed, leaders necessarily need to adapt their approaches. What roles does transparency play here? According to Charlene Li, author of Open Leadership, “transparency is not defined by you as a leader, but by the people you want to trust you and your organization. How much information do they need in order to follow you, trust you with their money or business?” (pg. 193). It’s all about trust -- and trust (and its corollary, attention) are the currency of our current attention economy.

"Digital Forest" - MobLab

This post by Julien Burns comes from Greenpeace’s Mobilisation Lab, a longtime participant in the TABridge network. The “MobLab” functions as a testing ground and “forward-looking space” to help Greenpeace’s global network and it allies understand and pilot “people-powered” campaigning, online and off.

“I am not saying ignore what’s working for large organizations,” writes ActionSprout CEO Drew Bernard, “they often provide great inspiration. But don’t mistake what they are doing as a path to success.” His email came in response to a call for help I sent out to a brain trust of progressive digital advocacy wonks. After watching countless small nonprofits struggle to establish digital presences, I was losing faith that organizations with at most a handful of communications staff working across all media could compete.

On 26 February we were delighted to host a live discussion featuring participants from our recent “Follow the Money” Workshop in Berlin. Guest speakers from several countries recounted their insights from the two-day event and, more importantly, brought stories and samples from works in progress that draw on their Berlin conversations. A full archive of the Webinar is available to play online. You can also download the slide presentation (pdf).

Andrea Menapace led off the discussion by reviewing the purpose of our "Follow the Money" (FTM) activities. While the Workshop's first practical aim was to share experiences about how tech can add value and what’s really needed to bring change, our more ambitious aim was to find concrete areas for potential new work, and to help spark collaborations with true potential for impact.

Consumers, campaigners and champions of free speech everywhere won a huge victory last week when United States regulators voted in favor of net neutrality rules, reclassifying broadband internet in the U.S. as a "common carriage" service open to all customers.

Practically speaking, that means internet providers cannot impose a "slow lane" or a toll gate on users based on the information or sources they are trying to reach. As law professor Tim Wu, who first coined the term "net neutrality," put it, the rule "… makes it very clear to the phone and cable companies: You can’t block anything. You know, you might not like a website that says Verizon’s too expensive; you can’t block that. … you can't go around and say, 'Hey, if you don’t want to be slowed down, you need to pay us more money' … like kind of a protection scheme."

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