Here at ONE, we talk a lot about open data —making sure everyday citizens (whether in Jacksonville, Florida, or Johannesburg, South Africa) can see what their government is doing, where they’re spending, and what they’re prioritizing.
Today, I was lucky enough to hear from Megan Smith, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. She talked about lots of exciting ways the U.S. government is trying to use technology and data to make smarter decisions, share ideas, and work together with other countries around the world. Check out just a few of the things they’re working on:
- We the People. A site where anyone can start a petition to the White House on an issue that matters to them. Want to ask the White House to make the fight against extreme poverty a big priority in next year’s budget? Start a petition to President Obama right here and share it with everyone you know.
- Analytics.usa.gov. See in real time exactly what people are looking at on U.S. Government websites. Fun fact: Do you know what one of the top ten downloads was in the last week on government sites? The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report. (Fascinating!)
- Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative. A site to raise public awareness about how countries manage their oil, gas, and mineral resources. See reports, data, and fantastic information on an issue ONE members have fought for over the years.
- Open Government Partnership. This group (which now features 70 countries) is committed to making sure that government data is open and accessible. They’re about to celebrate their 5th anniversary and big on the priority list this year? To make sure digital and technology experts are sitting at the table, right alongside the policymakers, to make sure our governments are more responsive to the people they serve.
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The U.S. government invited people from around the world to present ideas on how to tackle the Global Goals in their communities. They got 800 submissions, and discovered some unbelievable people and projects—like Mossia Princess Abze Djigma, a mechanical engineer from Burkina Faso whose sustainable energy company is providing women and youth the chance to create a better future for themselves and their communities.
- Global Connect Initiative. Global Connect is a multistakeholder effort in partnership with 40 Countries and dozens of development institutions, companies, and nonprofits to close the digital divide and connect at least another 1.5 billion people by 2020 by prioritizing Internet access in development plans and unlocking digital lending. The initiative also includes engaging the technical community and implementing dig once/cross-sectoral policies that promote affordable access