Article: Time to take media freedom to the next level

Open Governance, Politics

Time to take media freedom to the next level

The Media Council Kenya (MCK) is honored to anchor the celebrations in Nairobi at a time when the world media family is steeped against myriad challenges that must be overcome if the goals for media independence are to be achieved.

It is worthy of note that the celebrations are being done alongside the international major event in Windhoek, Namibia, that will be culmination of WPFD global activities. Africa remains in focus as one of the regions where media freedom and independence is still a lagging work in progress. Indeed, in our own East African region, Kenya remains the leading light in showing the way to freedom of the press while several neighbors face varied challenges.

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Article: Synergos Nigeria Advocates Trust Building In Bridging Societal Development Gaps

Open Governance, Politics, Standards

Synergos Nigeria Advocates Trust Building In Bridging Societal Development Gaps

The Synergos Nigeria, a global Non-Governmental Organisation, has advocated trust building among stakeholders in solving complex national and societal development issues through collective actions.  Mr Victor Adejoh, Country Director of Synergos disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Lokoja.

Adejoh said that the organization’s 30 years experience working in many other countries around the globe had shown that working together across divides realizes more and better solutions to complex problems than working alone.

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Article: Column: Open government is key to honest government

Open Governance, Politics, Standards

Column: Open government is key to honest government

When government fails, it’s the rare public official who says, “Oops. My fault.” That’s human nature, particularly for officials in the public eye who may have to run for office again. No one wants to be held directly responsible for letting the public down.

Case in point is the recent catastrophe in Texas, when unexpected winter storms left 4 million homes without power, ruptured pipes and tainted the water supply for many

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Article: Transparent Governance & Anti-Corruption

Open Governance, Politics, Standards

Transparent Governance & Anti-Corruption

Transparency is the principle of allowing those affected by administrative decisions to know about the resulting facts and figures (e.g., the city budget) and about the process that resulted in those decisions. Transparent governance means that government officials act openly, with citizens’ knowledge of the decisions the officials are making.

Availability of information on government policies and actions, a clear sense of organizational responsibility, and an assurance that governments are efficiently administered and free of systemic corruption are important components of transparent governance.

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Article: What is open government?

Open Governance, Politics, Standards

What is open government?

In general terms, an open government is one with high levels of transparency and mechanisms for public scrutiny and oversight in place, with an emphasis on government accountability.

Transparency is considered the traditional hallmark of an open government, meaning that the public should have access to government-held information and be informed of government proceedings. In recent years, however, the definition of open government has expanded to include expectations for increased citizen participation & collaboration in government proceedings through the use of modern, open technologies.

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Article: The Importance of Open Government

Open Governance, Politics, Standards

The Importance of Open Government

In 2009 President Obama, as his first decision as President of the United States, issued his first executive order that required agencies to identify and release “high value” data sets. The problem was that many did not release this information. In 2013, President Obama pushed an Executive Order that mandated all data be open. This push for openness and transparency in the government has led to the term open government. However, Obama’s true goal was for both an open and collaborative government.  As Obama’s memorandum states:

My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

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Article: How Securing Open-Source Projects Is The Key To Innovation

Open Governance, Open Source, Politics

How Securing Open-Source Projects Is The Key To Innovation

Trademarks and protection of ownership of the project have been the foundation of the open-source community. Although it might sound contradictory to associate trademarks with open-source, protecting the ownership can be critical for developers to maintain the reputation and long-term sustainability of projects.

However, with the increasing number of open-source enterprise applications, it gets challenging for developers and companies to protect the brand name. And that’s why Google has launched a new regulatory body — Open Usage Commons — to help companies manage the identity of projects despite giving the licensing for its source code.

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Article: What is Open Government

Open Governance, Politics, Standards

What is Open Government

There is no single official definition of what makes a government open.  Three key hallmarks of an open government are: transparency, accountability and participation.

  • Transparency helps the public to understand the workings of their government . It is an essential precondition for open and inclusive policy-making, and also helps build public trust in government. But transparency in itself does not in itself guarantee accountability.

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Article: Preventing public sector corruption

Open Governance, Politics

Preventing public sector corruption

As recognized by article 5 of UNCAC, core principles associated with the prevention of corruption in the public sector are the rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property, integrity, transparency and accountability.

In articles 7 and 8, UNCAC requires States to put in place specific measures that ensure adherence with these principles, including adopting merit-based systems for the recruitment and promotion of civil servants, prescribing criteria for election to public office, enhancing transparency in the funding of political parties, preventing conflicts of interest, promoting codes of conduct for the public sector, and establishing systems for the declaration of assets.

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Article: Open Governance: A New Paradigm for Understanding Urban Governance in an Information Age

Open Governance, Open Source, Politics

Open Governance: A New Paradigm for Understanding Urban Governance in an Information Age

This theoretical viewpoint paper presents a new perspective on urban governance in an information age. Smart city governance is not only about technology but also about re-organizing collaboration between a variety of actors. The introduction of new tools for open collaboration in the public domain is rapidly changing the way collaborative action is organized.

These technologies reduce the transaction costs for massive collaboration dramatically and thus facilitate new forms of collaboration that we could call “open governance”:

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