Networked citizens around the world have today a unique opportunity to create a global front against corruption by embracing and adopting free culture freedoms. Applying free culture principles in the fight against corruption, increases its effectiveness and enables better informed policies and a coordinated effort across national boundaries and areas of interests.
As the recent 14th International Conference Against Corruption in Thailand stated, to foster the transparency agenda it is necessary to restore people’s trust and rebuild the credibility of institutions. Those who fight against corruption should go beyond expressions of political will to concrete action. Also, it is crucial to engage youth, as pointed out by Bunga Manggiasih, one of the international young journalists who collaborated to cover the event. One of the best bridges to connect and engage youth in the use — and the invention — of technology to fight corruption is to organize efforts to connect different communities and take action. Several of these events are taking place this week:
Open Gov Data Camp in London
Open Gov Data Catalogues available to any UK citizen offer an unprecedented opportunity to achieve more open, accountable, responsive and efficient approach against corruption and the culture of secrecy that prevailed in the past. OpenGov Data Camp will take place November 18-19, 2010, with representatives from different countries attending and holding discussions around around key legal, technical, and policy issues related to opening up government information. The camp will also offer a space for for developers and hackers to make things, learning from each other and from their mistakes. You will be able to follow on Twitter (#ogdcamp) and via live notes/discussions on the OKF Etherpad site.
Personal Democracy Forum Latin America in Chile
As you can see in on the Technology for Transparency Network map, Latin America is one of the most vibrant regions in the World, where initiatives to engage citizens, promote transparency and fight corruption are flourishing and connecting their numerous digital natives, creating a bridge for them to better understand how their governments work, why transparent elections and the funding behind political parties matter, and why they should care about their parliaments, among other issues. On November 18 -19, 2010, @PDFLatAm will take place in Santiago, Chile. Latin American leaders and activists will share the new developments in the region and will learn from peers at projects based in the US, Africa and Europe, including Rising Voices former Director David Sasaki and Ushahidi co-founder Patrick Meier. A group of Global Voices authors and translators will be there and will share their event insights with you. The Technology for Transparency Network will also be live-tweeting in Spanish during the event at @transparentech.
Polska Transparency Camp in Poland
Citizens who “do instead of talk” are at the core of any efficient and sustainable initiative involving technology and actions against corruption. Following such principles and engaging leaders from different countries to share their experiences, 150 people with different backgrounds will attend Polska Transparency Camp in Warsaw, Poland. Citizens together with a variety of speakers from different countries and backgrounds, connected by the Internet, will work together to connect different sectors, brainstorm ideas, and define the path to a more transparent and accountable society in Poland. You can watch the live event online and follow Technology for Transparency researcher Sylwia Presley on Twitter at @presleysylwia for updates.
Open Data Day Hackathon
The global Open Data Day Hackathon offers a unique opportunity to gather people around the world to act for transparency by developing applications using the open public data available in their country. The idea is to invite developers, designers, librarians, statisticians, and citizens of all kinds to spend one day working together. The event will take place on December 4, 2010, and it's not to late to join the global effort in your community.
All of these events offer ways for citizens to get involved in technology-based efforts to promote transparency and accountability, encouraging more active, engaged, effective digital activism against corruption. If you're able to get involved, we encourage you to do so — even though the Technology for Transparency Network operates mostly online, face to face contact with communities interested in a more open and transparent world is often crucial to making these efforts successful.