Portrait of Emily Middleton
0 Comments

In 2011, the Louisville Metro Government launched its Open Data Portal. There were two main reasons for the launch. One was the election of Mayor Greg Fischer, who was determined to better use data to drive performance improvement and transparency in government. The second was pressure from the local civic tech community, which had lobbied the metro government for years to make its data... Read More

Portrait of Emily Middleton
1 Comment

The benefits of technology and innovation in financial services are well known. One of the most obvious is easier, cheaper access to financial services in both emerging and mature economies. For example, mobile payments services are flourishing. They are especially popular in China (paywall), and M-PESA boasts more than 25 million users in sub-Saharan Africa and India. Services like... Read More

Portrait of Wen Hoe
0 Comments

Open data and open government are often confused with each other. The phrase “open government” was first introduced in the 1950s, a call for public accountability after little government information disclosure during WWII. However, in recent years, the two ideas have been conflated. Former President Obama’s Open Government Directive called for executive branch agencies to “publish... Read More

Portrait of Daniel Carranza
0 Comments

Although Uruguay usually warrants little attention, it has demonstrated time and again the ability to surprise and innovate. In keeping with its hard-earned identity, Uruguay has led its regional counterparts in the adoption and promotion of open government. Its adoption of open government has allowed Uruguay to lead the region in creating social value and informed government decision-... Read More

Paula Brown
0 Comments

General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) might be the single most important technological innovation this century for public transit — at least I think so. GTFS features a common format for public transportation schedules and related geographic information, which enables developers to innovate using the available data. Public transit agencies such as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation... Read More

Dwijo Goswami
0 Comments

In my previous post, I covered the governance implications of Bitcoin. This post delves into the underlying technology behind Bitcoin — blockchain. Almost everybody agrees blockchain is the real game-changing innovation that enabled Bitcoin’s success. However, these are still early days for the technology. Apart from Bitcoin, most blockchain projects have yet to survive the proof-of-... Read More

Juliette Keeley
0 Comments

How do you get rural Kenyan communities to fund solid waste management projects? This is the question that SAFI, a Kenya-based non-profit focused on sanitation projects, asked itself. In particular, could mobilizing communities to partake in participatory budgeting increase local funding for waste management projects? Participatory budgeting (PB) has gained popularity as an innovative... Read More

Zoila Llempen
0 Comments

I still remember the last work meeting I had as a public servant at the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion in Peru before coming to Harvard Kennedy School in which we spent about three hours discussing whether one ministry was willing to share its data with another one, even though the two ministries were working together on a common project. Months later, the news was not so... Read More

Dwijo Goswami
0 Comments

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency. It allows individuals to digitally generate currency through ‘mining’ — a process that leverages the individual’s computational power to solve algorithms (a short video summarizing ‘mining’ can be viewed here). ‘Miners’ are rewarded for their solutions with coins that can be used in a... Read More

Melissa Bender
0 Comments

Data-driven policy. Managing for results. Evidence-based programming. We hear these phrases in the policy community constantly but what do they mean? And, when did this drive for evidence become so popular among social scientists and policymakers? The policy community uses all three phrases above to refer to data collection systems that allow policymakers to continuously learn from the... Read More

Sean Thornton
0 Comments

How well do you know your city? Your neighborhood? Even your block? When it comes to public information, it’s a simple question without a simple answer. Even with open data portals available in most major cities, it can be a challenge to find specific or relevant data in a sea of online lists, tables, and spreadsheets. Chicago’s new OpenGrid initiative aims to help resolve this dilemma... Read More

0 Comments

Each day, throughout the world, public officials and practitioners face the daunting task of creating solutions to society's most pressing problems, as they strive to improve the lives of their citizens. These dedicated public servants are under pressure to do more with increasingly limited resources, and to be more effective and efficient. Repeatedly, history has shown that continuing to... Read More