Writing at TechPresident, Susannah Vila of The Engine Room describes how hackathons are transitioning from prize-based incentives to mentorship models as a way to give greater sustainability to initial prototypes. She points to Desarrollando America Latina, Developing the Caribbean, and Nigeria’s Co-Creation Hub as three communities that have evolved their model to give more emphasis to follow-through. Vila also emphasized the importance of community outreach, noting that Code for America’s New York City Brigade has a full-time community organizer.
The Knight Foundation announces that their next News Challenge will focus on health data. For this News Challenge, they have partnered with four health-focused organizations to facilitate a dialogue about how information can lead to healthier communities. One of those four organizations, the Health Data Consortium, organizes the annual Health Datapalooza. Last year the event focused on “mobile health” and this year they partnered with StartUpHealth, a community of 3,000 startups and nearly 700 VC Firms that work to accelerate the transformation of healthcare. The Knight Foundation is now looking to fund even more. Todd Park, the current CTO of the United States, launched HealthData.gov when he was the CTO of Health and Human Services. Park and HealthData.gov were featured by New York Times columnist David Bornstein in a series on how prizes and challenges as catalysts for innovation. In 2010, Park gave a presentation at the Gov 2.0 expo on “how open data can improve America’s health.”
A few items related to the Open Government Partnership: The OGP Civil Society Hub, a project of Hivos, has launched a website with updated information related to civil society’s participation in the partnership. This year’s annual OGP event will take place on October 31 and November 1st in London. Pre-registration for the summit is open until August 26. Emilene Martinez summarizes the outcomes of a civil society meeting that took place in London the first week of July. As Emilene writes, “the goal was really simple: to share national experiences on OGP, discuss what it means to be civil society in a country that chairs OGP, and work with our colleagues from Indonesia and Mexico to prepare for their upcoming chairmanships.” Indonesia will host the OGP annual event in 2014 and Mexico will host in 2015. (Mexico will also host next year’s Latin American Conference on Open Data, which took place this year in Montevideo.) The agenda and participant list of the OGP civil society exchange event is available on Google Docs.
On July 11 and 12 the OGP steering committee met to discuss a variety of issues — mostly related to the annual conference. Paul Massen summarizes the outcomes of the meeting in a blog post at the OGP Civil Society Hub. The minutes, agenda, and participant list of the steering committee are all available on the OGP website.
The OGP Civil Society Hub has published a number of documents describing the OGP process in key countries, including Peru, Brazil, and Mexico.
Finally, as a nice segue to journalism, the OGP steering committee agreed to form a Media Council to be chaired by Richard Sambrook and comprised of “high profile journalists from all regions.” Sambrook is now seeking input from media practitioners worldwide about the role and attitudes of journalists in government transparency programs. A white paper about the role of journalism in open government will be presented at the OGP annual event in London.
Writing in Wired, Jeanne Bourgault, the CEO of Internews, describes “How the Global Open Data Movement is Transforming Journalism.” And Tactical Tech has produced the first in a series of documentary films about data driven journalism. The first episode features the work of Paul Radu of the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. A “Resources page” describes the tools and tactics that Radu uses in greater detail. Radu also published the excellent report “Follow the Money: A Digital Guide for Tracking Corruption” and is one of the creators of the Investigative Dashboard, a portal that seeks to facilitate greater cross-boarder collaboration among investigative journalists.
That’s all for this week. A restful weekend to all.