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Open Systems Enable Government Transparency Technology Leapfrog


February 5, 2011

Doug Hadden VP Products

Financial transparency was the main subject of a panel earlier this week at the World Bank. I had the privilege of joining Dmitry Kachaev, Kevin Merritt and Neil Fantom on the the panel . Dmitry Kachaev is the former Director of Research and Development, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, in the D.C. Government and is a Government 2.0 thought leader. Kevin Merritt is the Founder & CEO of Socrata and is a strong advocate for open government data. (I have to admit that I like the Socraa trademarked tag line “Making Data Social”.) Neil Fantom is the Manager, Development Data Group, Development Economics Vice Presidency at the World Bank. The World Bank is a recognized leader in making aid information accessible, open and transparent.

Transparency is an opportunity for developing countries for governance “leapfrog.” The Government of Timor-Leste will shortly be releasing an on-line budget transparency portal. This portal provides 10 years of budget execution data with interactive drill down and export to numerous machine readable formats.  There are a few important points about this move to open data in government:

  • The paradigm is changing to direct engagement of citizens with current machine readable information
  • Open data is enabled by open systems
  • Open systems and open data have been maturing

Transparency and open data have become important components of PFM reform. This should not be seen as stand-alone “government 2.0″ initiatives, but part of an overall strategy. In the case of Timor-Leste, the strategy includes decentralization, procurement reform and performance management through manager and minister dashboards.

The embedded presentation includes the full script used at the panel – plus additional information and links.


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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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