These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Why transparency in the extractive industries matters for women
"Each year around the world, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8, with thousands of events occurring not just on this day, but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
As the world marks this special day ONE spoke to Winnie Ngabiirwe, Chairperson of Publish What You Pay Uganda and Executive Director of Global Rights Alert, on why transparency in the extractives industries will benefit women in Uganda and other countries.
Winnie leads the effort to make sure revenues received for Uganda’s recently discovered oil are not wasted, and are put towards social and economic development programmes."
Space for Transparency
Corruption and the Arms Trade
"The one hundred and ninety two states of the United Nations spent last week negotiating a UN treaty to regulate the international arms trade. The Treaty’s purpose is “To elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.” Two members of Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme were in New York for the negotiations, pressing governments to support strong anti-corruption provisions in a robust treaty. We are working with nations and with a wide range of NGOs to achieve this objective."
"The media were accused in last year's Kenya general election of fermenting violence, yet in Ghana they were hailed for helping facilitate an election where informed citizens cast their votes according to policy choices rather than ethnic identity.
The role of media in elections - sometimes negative, sometimes positive - is becoming an increasingly key governance issue."
"Local news is going mobile. Nearly half of all American adults (47%) report that they get at least some local news and information on their cellphone or tablet computer.
The information they seek out on mobile platforms is practical and real time: 42% of mobile device owners report getting weather updates and 37% get material about restaurants or other local businesses on their phones or tablets. Fewer get news about local traffic and transportation, general news alerts or other local topics."
The Huffington Post
Gov 2.0 and Open Government Take Root in India
"On March 11, there will be a Gov 2.0 camp in India. As Alan Silberberg observes, this "India Govcamp" shows how Gov 2.0 and open government are spreading around the globe. While this event reduces the idea of reduces "Gov 2.0" to the idea of social media in governance, a survey of the Gov 2.0 ideas submitted at Gov2.in demonstrate that Indian citizens are thinking more broadly of the concept.
Shrikant Shahaji Shinde suggests "a platform on internet for asking questions or giving suggestions directly to MP, MLA, ministers and to officers selected by Civil service examinations. Niraj Prakash would like "eBooks and eFilms made from our national archives." Lainna Emmanuel submitted that, "along the lines of Code for America, regular camps should be held which brings together cutting-edge web developers and local decisions makers on the same platform." Gopi Krishna asked attendees to check out at Gov 2.0 site, Citzen Social."
Research Into Use
The ShujaazFM Youth Communications Initiative
"ShujaazFM has been developed by the Nairobi-based communications company Well Told Story. The idea behind ShujaazFM is simple - that getting messages out to young people is easier if you engage them through popular culture and use the right language. The project combines three powerful and accessible youth-focused media:
- nationally distributed free monthly comic books
- daily syndicated FM radio and (planned) television programmes
- interactive SMS (for audience feedback)
Working with FIPS-Africa ShujaazFM has identified a series of relevant agricultural messages, based on previous research. The messages are incorporated into comic book stories which follow the lives of four typical Kenyans."
The New York Times
When Unrest Stirs, Bloggers Are Already in Place
"As the protests spread across Tunisia for weeks, many international news organizations scrambled to cover the unrest just before President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled on Jan. 14, ending 23 years of authoritarian rule. But Amira al-Hussaini was all over the story.
Ms. Hussaini oversaw a handful of bloggers who gathered information about the mounting protests in Tunisia for Global Voices, a volunteer-driven organization and platform that works with bloggers all over the world to translate, aggregate and link to online content. As part of its reporting, she said, the site turned to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where other bloggers and hundreds of ordinary people stepped into the role of citizen journalists and shared their experiences, cellphone photos and videos online."
"How do policymakers know what effect their policies are having on the people they serve? For the past four years, an innovative Swedish government initiative in Bangladesh has been trying to address this question. The Reality Check has field teams visit and spend quality time with ordinary households living in poverty in different parts of the country.
Billions of dollars of international donor money have recently been invested in improving basic services through health and education sector reforms. The Health, Nutrition and Population Sector Programme (2004-10) was a $3.5bn investment, and the Second Primary Education Development Programme (2003-10) has cost $1.8bn."
"Japan’s Internet is largely intact after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Friday, allowing online services to play a pivotal role in connecting victims of the quake with families and friends unsure of their whereabouts.
While the earthquake knocked out electricity supplies and shut down two nuclear power plants, Internet availability remains relatively unaffected, according to a blog post from Internet monitoring company Renesys.
In a message sent Friday from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to U.S. citizens in Japan, the Embassy encouraged Americans 'to continue your efforts to be in contact with your loved one(s) using SMS texting and other social media (e.g., FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) that your loved one(s) may use.'"
Revenue Watch Institute
EITI Reports: Results and Analysis
"Twenty-three countries in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative have published a total of 50 reports. Some provide clear, complete information about revenues from oil, gas and mining. Others leave readers frustrated and confused. Most fall somewhere in the middle.
Use the tools here to view country summaries, compare results by indicator and download or share the data from Revenue Watch's analysis of EITI report quality. The current analysis is based the most recent report from each country."