These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
“TechCrunch just got its hands on the new Aakash UbiSlate 7Ci, the super-cheap tablet that will attempt to connect every student in India to the Internet. Educators have long hoped that cheap computing devices could bridge the global information divide, but previous attempts have been dogged by disappointing performance, lack of Internet access, and financial barriers. The latest version of India’s $35 tablet comes equipped with WiFi and has an optional upgrade ($64) of a cellular Internet package of $2/month for 2 GB of data (roughly 25 emails, 25 websites, 2 minutes of streaming video, and 15 minutes of voice chat a day). More importantly, it is expected to launch this month in India with the government’s commitment to connect even the most remote areas to the Internet. The impact of a successful rollout is difficult to overestimate: rural schools that have been connected to the Internet show immediate and tremendous gains.” READ MORE
“Global Integrity, the DC-based NGO that develops and applies technological innovations to projects related to government transparency and accountability, is celebrating two new projects this week. The Open Government Hub held its launch event on Monday; it is an open space that brings together some of the leading NGOs that develop technology, policy and data innovations as a means of fostering government transparency and fighting corruption. A second initiative is Testing 1 2 3, which offers grants of $10,000 to applicants who successfully pitch a new idea that uses technology to promote transparency and accountability.
The Open Government Hub brings together some of leading names in transparency NGOs — like Ushahidi, FrontlineSMS, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and Open Government Partnership. The idea, says Global Integrity's Nathaniel Heller, is to provide a place to work and share ideas for people with a common goal and different, but complementary, means of achieving them. He spoke enthusiastically of Monday's launch event, which he said was "jam-packed," with supporters, including White House staff. It was a "community event full of people, substance and ideas," said Heller.” READ MORE
Four key trends changing digital journalism and society
“It’s not just a focus on data that connects the most recent class of Knight News Challenge winners. They all are part of a distributed civic media community that works on open source code, collects and improves data, and collaborates across media organizations.
These projects are “part of an infrastructure that helps journalists better understand and serve their communities through data,” commented Chris Sopher, Knight Foundation Journalism Program Associate, in an interview last week. To apply a coding metaphor, the Knight Foundation is funding the creation of patches for the source code of society. This isn’t a new focus: in 2011, Knight chose to help build the newsroom stack, from editorial search engines to data cleaning tools.” READ MORE
The Wall Street Journal
Study Says Development Aid Remains Opaque Despite Progress
“Transparency in development aid is on the rise but most aid information still is not published, according to a new study by a watchdog group.
The 2012 Aid Transparency Index, published by the group Publish What You Fund, tracks 43 indicators of transparency, including the quality of Freedom of Information laws, engagement with a transparency standard and information types used in that standard such as procurement strategies and whether the organization publishes an annual report.” READ MORE
Global Centre for ICT in Parliament
World e-Parliament Report 2012
“The World e-Parliament Report 2012 documents the efforts of legislatures to use information and communication technologies (ICT) to support their constitutional functions. The Report is based on the Global Survey of ICT in Parliaments 2012 conducted by the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament between February and May 2012, which is the third in a series of surveys that began in 2007.” READ MORE