These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
The Future of News from 3 Silicon Valley Executives
The Dish Daily
"In a world transformed by the Internet and overrun by tech giants, the news industry has been irrevocably changed. Some lament, but few would argue. Those on the news side of things have been vocal for some time – analyzing and brainstorming, discussing and arguing – but we’ve not often heard what those behind the flourishing tech companies have to say.
Three notable Silicon Valley figures discussed the news industry with Riptide, a project headed by John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz and Paul Sagan and published by Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab." READ MORE
"In its continued efforts to organize and disseminate learnings in the field of technology-enabled governance innovation, today, The Governance Lab is introducing a collaborative, wiki-style repository of information and research at the nexus of technology, governance and citizenship. Right now we’re calling it the Open Governance Knowledge Base, and it goes live today.
Our goal in creating this collaborative platform is to provide a single source of research and insights related to the broad, interdiscplinary field of open governance for the benefit of: 1) decision-makers in governing institutions seeking information and inspiration to guide their efforts to increase openness; 2) academics seeking to enrich and expand their scholarly pursuits in this field; 3) technology practitioners seeking insights and examples of familiar tools being used to solve public problems; and 4) average citizens simply seeking interesting information on a complex, evolving topic area." READ MORE
The Role of Citizen Engagement in Transparency and Accountability
"Though we tend to talk about accountability as if it is one thing, I think there are actually three types of government accountability that we care about: preference accountability, character accountability, and performance accountability. And each of these has its own relationship to citizen engagement. By better understanding this, we can better understand the citizen engagement – transparency – accountability nexus." READ MORE
"After typhoon Haiyan smashed into the Philippines on 8 November, an army of volunteers mobilized and worked around the clock to help guide relief efforts. But these were no boots on the ground. Instead, they were citizens from around the world who quickly analysed satellite imagery and other data, generating maps to provide relief agencies with invaluable crowdsourced information.
Crowdsourced disaster response, until a few years ago informal and often haphazard, is now getting more organized, and is being embraced by official humanitarian organizations and integrated into relief operations. Volunteer efforts have multiplied thanks to the arrival of online mapping tools, the increasing popularity of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, and the spread of mobile phones. A suite of volunteer groups are emerging that contribute to disaster response in tight coordination with conventional relief organizations." READ MORE
"If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’ve used a toilet recently. It’s also likely you’ve never really considered how fortunate you are to have access to that toilet. Could you imagine what it would be like to leave your house in the middle of the night to relieve yourself outside rather than inside the safety and privacy of a clean bathroom stall?
Today is World Toilet Day and we’re recognizing the 2.5 billion people around the world who do not have access to a toilet (that’s about 1/3 of the world’s population!). The magnitude of this problem is significant. Without a toilet, people are forced to defecate outside – an act that compromises a person’s dignity, privacy and safety, and leaves billions susceptible to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)." READ MORE
"Following a decade of rapid urbanization and strong economic growth, Africa is going digital. While just 16 percent of the continent’s one billion people are online, that picture is changing rapidly.
Evidence of what is to come can already be seen in Africa’s major cities, where consumers have greater disposable income, more than half have Internet-capable devices, and 3G networks are up and running. Significant infrastructure investment—for example, increased access to mobile broadband, fibre-optic cable connections to households, and power-supply expansion—combined with the rapid spread of low-cost smartphones and tablets, has enabled millions of Africans to connect for the first time. There is a growing wave of innovation as entrepreneurs and large corporations alike launch new web-based ventures." READ MORE