These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Mobile Media Toolkit
A Profound Media Shift in the Arab World 
“A report from the Center for International Media Assistance analyzes the growth of digital media in the Arab region.
A new report from the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) highlights a profound media shift happening in the Arab world. Amidst continued repression and threats to free expression, both online and offline, this year saw tens of millions of individuals and news outlets using social and digital media tools to capture and share events. The full report is available here: Digital Media in the Arab World One Year After the Revolutions.” READ MORE 
Open Government Partnership
Revealed: Top Ten Commitments to Open Government as Representatives from 73 Countries Gather in Brasilia 
“After its establishment in September 2011, representatives from 43 new member countries of the OGP will announce their action plans to make their governments more open, transparent and accountable. A review of 35 of these action plans – covering countries from North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa – shows a wide range of different priorities which mirror the unique context within each. However the ten most common pledges are:
- Innovative public accountability mechanisms – including a new ‘openness barometer in Slovak Republic, a ‘governance observatory’ in Peru and ‘public scorecard in Dominican Republic.
- Open data portals – covering everything from crime statistics and political party funding to local budgets and procurement (proposed by Chile, Estonia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Peru, Romania, Spain and Tanzania).
- New legal and institutional mechanisms – including the creation of new state agencies (including in Peru and Uruguay), changes to access to information laws and systems (Canada and Croatia) and new anti-corruption laws/strategies (Estonia, Jordan and Peru).” READ MORE 
Publish What You Fund
CIVICUS report on aid transparency and CSOs 
“A report released yesterday by CIVICUS includes a commentary by Publish What You Fund Director, Karin Christiansen, on aid transparency and what it means for CSOs (p.115-116); from the availability of accurate information on donor spending for use in advocacy efforts, to saving staff time on costly reporting for different funders.
The report refers to the International Aid Transparency Initiative as the standard through which CSOs will be able to access this useful aid information:
‘A key question for CSOs is whether they have sufficient resources to respond to the connected crises the world faces, and how those crises are affecting their funding positions [...] In response many CSOs are paying more attention to fundraising and diversification of funding sources. Difficulties in analysis remain due to the lack of availability of comparable and up to date data from donors, which the growth of the International Aid Transparency Initiative may help to address.’” READ MORE 
Mobile Money: Is It Reaching Far Enough? 
“Over the weekend I was at the African Economic Forum at Columbia University, which covered all sorts of economic issues in Africa. Unsurprisingly, mobile technology came up in almost every session I attended. Panelists discussed the way mobile devices are infiltrating education and health services, international remittances, and of course, basic financial services.
The consensus seemed to be that mobile services are the way forward for Africa. However, once the low-hanging fruit among potential users has been plucked, so to speak, reaching the poorest and most remote segments of the population will require additional effort.” READ MORE 
- Mobile Media Toolkit 
- CIMA 
- Arab Spring 
- social media 
- free expression 
- digital media 
- Open Government Partnership 
- Brasilia 
- accountability 
- open data 
- anticorruption 
- latin america 
- mena 
- Publish What You Fund 
- CIVICUS 
- aid transparency 
- CSOs 
- AudienceScapes 
- mobile money 
- African Economic Forum 
- financial services 
- Columbia University