These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Corruption Perceptions Index
"The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world. The Index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem. Hover on the map above to see how your country fares. The world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions." READ MORE
How to Measure a Post-2015 MDG on Good Governance
"There’s been plenty of chatter in recent months about a possible post-2015 Millennium Development Goal on governance following the release of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The report called out "good governance and effective institutions" as one of 12 "illustrative" goals that nations might consider when adopting new development targets for the post-2015 era. This is potentially big news for transparency and accountability boosters; enshrining good governance in the post-2015 MDG process could provide significant political cover for continued reform efforts while simultaneously unlocking new resources for the work.
A chief risk to the prospect of a good governance goal is the data problem. How would we measure countries’ progress towards "good governance" in a post-2015 framework? Whose data should be used? Is it accurate and robust enough for such an august task? Is it possible to generate quality data on a global scale, regularly, that could be used for tracking?" READ MORE
"Last week Google India launched an online portal for all things election-related. The portal is meant to educate voters about the electoral process and provide information about political parties and candidates. A press release describes it as a "one stop destination" to help voters make an informed decision.
The portal home page aggregates election-related news, and potential voters can refine their search by different parties and/or states. There are additional pages for 'Videos,' a collection of Google hangouts and YouTube videos, and for information on 'How to register,' which helpfully addresses frequently searched-for questions and links people to online registration forms." READ MORE
Austria and Bosnia Introduce Budget Transparency Portals
International Budget Partnership
"Public availability of municipal spending data is nothing new in Austria. But despite the existence of an Austrian Open Government Data portal (http://data.gv.at), local budget data is not entirely accessible. Data is often locked up in PDF documents, and thus not machine readable, which makes it more difficult to use in analysis or for the creation of data visualizations. But now, spending data for Austria’s municipalities is only a click away.
The Centre for Public Administration Research (KDZ) is an NGO in Austria with sound knowledge of public finances. In a project funded by the Bank Austria, KDZ recently launched the portal www.offenerhaushalt.at that provides access to the spending data of all 2,356 municipalities in Austria. However, it is the responsibility of each municipality’s mayor to publish the budget data via the new portal." READ MORE
Will e-publishing help Africa switch on to reading?
BBC News Africa
"Publishers have long bemoaned Africa's lack of a "book culture" but some hope that the advent of smartphones and the Internet could help change this, writes journalist Chris Matthews.
The 566% increase in worldwide Internet usage since the start of the millennium might appear staggering but not when compared with Africa, where online activity has grown by an astonishing 3,606%.
More than 160 million people are now connected throughout the continent, mostly on mobile phones." READ MORE
"IICD uses a distinctive participatory and multi-stakeholder approach in developing social innovation programs with information and communication technologies.
Whereas many ICT for Development (ICT4D) projects focus on the transfer of new or innovative technologies, IICD focuses not on technology, but on people. More than 15 years of experience has proven that this approach works. In 80% of IICD projects, partner organisations succeed in integrating ICT into their core business by the end of the project period. This is an impressive track record compared to the average sustainability figure of 15% for ICT4D projects.
IICD’s focus is on strengthening individual, organisational and institutional capacities so that people and organisations in developing countries can use ICTs effectively and independently to achieve their development goals. In a period of about three to five years, we guide our partners through a participatory process in which they work together in a network of like-minded organisations, experts, government agencies and private sector actors." READ MORE