Opening Parliament BlogTumblr (3.0; @openingparliament)http://blog.openingparliament.org/Women in decision making roles in the European Union<p>In European political institutions, what are women in charge of? How many are in key positions? How many are in decision making roles? Out of the 28 EU members states, only two are lead by women: Germany and Poland.</p><p>While Angela Merkel is widely seen as one of the most powerful and influential politicians in the world, very few women can say the same. <a href="http://www.openpolis.it/">Openpolis</a>, in its recent MiniDossier “<a href="http://minidossier.openpolis.it/2016/03/Trova_intrusa">Trova l’intrusa</a>“, analyzed the role of women in political institutions across Europe and Italy. The goal was to understand how many women hold key political positions: what are women in charge of? How many are in key positions? How many are in decision making roles?</p><p>The results were very clear. The number of women in political institutions is still very low, and very few of them hold positions of power.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" height="550" width="550"><img src="http://40.media.tumblr.com/f389887ab72c52d3818ae3f542de92e0/tumblr_inline_o5j8kariUu1tr7cpe_540.png" height="550" width="550"/></figure><p>Even though women represent more than a third of members both in the European parliament and in the European commission (37% and 33%, respectively), both in the European Council and the Foreign Affairs Council the percentage drops to 10%. In the most important economic and financial institution of the old continent, Ecofin (Economic and Financial Affairs Council), only 8% of members are women.</p><p>In national parliaments of EU members states, men are always the majority (in best of circumstances, Sweden, women reach 44%), in 17 countries the percentage is lower than 30%, and in the governments of three countries (Greece, Slovakia and Hungary) all ministers are men. There are only three countries in which the government is half men and half women: France and Slovenia (both at 50%) and Sweden (52%). Furthermore, of the 5 women heads of state, two are so for house laws (queen Elizabeth II and Margaret II). If we consider only the heads of government, the only female colleague of Angela Merkel, is the Polish premier Beata Szydło.</p><p>In national governments, women hold 50% of labour and social affairs ministries, 43% of ministries related to family care, youth, senior citizens and sport, 40% of education and culture. At the same time, only 14% of justice ministers are women, percentage drops to 11% for finance ministries and to 7% for foreign affairs ministries. No EU country has a woman leading the ministry of economy.<br/></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/142735047031http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/142735047031Wed, 13 Apr 2016 08:00:52 -0400EuropeGermanyPolandGreeceSlovakiaHungaryItalySloveniaSwedenAbriendo asambleas por América Latina: Costa Rica y más allá<p>Hace algunas semanas fuimos convocados desde San José por los amigos y colegas de Abriendo Datos Costa Rica para compartir con ellos un espacio que se venía organizando junto a la Asamblea Nacional de Costa Rica para debatir sobre las implicancias de un parlamento abierto. Esa primera invitación informal que partió de una lectura de nuestra investigación, fue tomando seriedad con el paso de los días y se fue construyendo una agenda muy rica que incluyó una conversación muy interesante en uno de los programas más escuchados de la mañana de la radio en San José, una reunión con los presidentes de las fracciones legislativas de la Asamblea y un gran seminario en la ULACYT.</p><p><b>La Alianza por una Asamblea Abierta</b></p><p>Hace más de dos años, al comenzar a llevar adelante el proyecto de investigación que luego publicaramos a través de ILDA, visitamos México para la segunda edición de ConDatos y AbreLatam. Luego de esa semana intensa <a href="http://idatosabiertos.org/una-cultura-de-apertura-legislativa-que-se-contagia-en-america-latina/">escribí un post donde destacaba</a>, entre otras cosas, la existencia de una Alianza por el Parlamento Abierto en ese país como un caso a seguir observando de cerca. Tristemente, y por diferentes motivos, no prosperó demasiado esa noble iniciativa que integraba actores tanto de la sociedad civil como del propio Parlamento.<br/></p><p>En Costa Rica el caso fue similar pero con diferencias dignas de ser destacadas. La Alianza por una Asamblea Abierta (AAA) se conformó sólo por organizaciones de la sociedad civil, que aportaron diferentes puntos de vista a un planteo que se formalizó y presentó a la Asamblea Nacional.</p><p>Esta confluencia se presenta como “un espacio de encuentro y colaboración entre organizaciones de la sociedad civil de Costa Rica enfocado en impulsar y apoyar proyectos e iniciativas hacia políticas de gobierno abierto en la Asamblea Legislativa”. Desde ese lugar se logró arribar a un compromiso firmado por el Directorio Legislativo de la Asamblea sobre un plan de acción que comenzó a implementarse a fines de 2015 que contempla formación de los agentes públicos, concientización de los parlamentarios y desarrollar políticas de apertura efectiva. En este marco es que fuimos invitados a participar del Seminario Internacional de Parlamento Abierto.</p><!-- more --><p><b>El Seminario en ULACYT</b></p><p>El jueves 10 de marzo se realizó entonces el Seminario que contó con una apertura institucional, dos mesas temáticas y una conferencia de cierre, que incluyó la firma de un protocolo por el acceso a la información legislativa. Fue un honor haber compartido el evento con el Vicepresidente del Congreso de Chile Patricio Vallespín, el Director Ejecutivo de Open North Jean Noé Landry, Gerardo Noto del PNUD, el Presidente de la Asamblea Legislativa de Costa Rica Rafael Ortíz Fábrega y sus secretarios Juan Marín y Karla Prendas y destacados miembros del cuerpo docente de la ULACYT. También tuvimos la oportunidad interactuar fluidamente con los miembros de la AAA Susana Soto, Fernanda Avendaño, Sergio Pacheco y Evelyn Villareal, con quién además compartimos una linda mesa redonda en la radio Columbia esa misma mañana</p><p><a href="https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/E1nUsXPywupklz">Aquí</a> queda disponible la presentación utilizada.</p><p><b>Bonus Track: Reunión de Trabajo de <a href="http://www.parlamericas.org/">ParlAméricas</a></b></p><p>La semana posterior a este encuentro en San José se realizó en Buenos Aires la reunión del grupo de trabajo de Parlamento Abierto de Parlaméricas, con presencia de parlamentarios de varios países de la región donde pudimos entrar en contacto con diferentes iniciativas que están en marcha como los primeros esfuerzos por parte del Congreso de Colombia <a href="http://www.camara.gov.co/portal2011/la-camara/transparencia-y-acceso-a-la-informacion-publica">en acceso a la información pública</a>, o las iniciativas de CongresoTransparente en Guatemala. Sin dudas es muy importante que se sigan generando encuentros de este tipo donde se puedan compartir experiencias que faciliten la expansión de la agenda de apertura en los poderes legislativos de América Latina.</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/142693929228http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/142693929228Tue, 12 Apr 2016 13:45:15 -0400Costa Rica3 steps for productive disruption in the Brazilian legislature<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/fangelico">Fabiano Angélico</a>.</i> </p><p>In Brazil, the investigation known as <a href="http://latincorrespondent.com/2015/06/car-wash-brazils-petrobras-corruption-saga-continues/">Operation Car Wash</a>, which seems to reveal <a href="http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/en/politica/noticia/2016-02/operation-car-wash-corruption-investigation-moves-stage-23">endless surprises and new facts</a>, has shaken the Brazilian political landscape, hitting large corporations (public and private) and affecting the legitimacy and public confidence in politicians, political parties, and institutions.<br/></p><p>Moreover, it unveiled deficiencies and gaps in the political system and revealed that corruption and inefficiency exist throughout the system. Limited trust in democracy provides space for for extremism, and it is high time we seriously thought about building solutions. The <a href="http://www.latinobarometro.org/latOnline.jsp">very low level of confidence in institutions</a> suggests that there is little room for incremental or gradual solutions. Therefore, it is advisable to seek disruptive solutions that can help put a swift end to Brazil’s political crisis.</p><!-- more --><p>A possible first step is the reformulation of the election system of those who head the House of Representatives. The legislative power, which in classic political theory is referred to as the closest and most representative space for civil society, is the one which holds the best position to absorb the innovations coming from various sectors and social groups. </p><p>The scenario is favorable to an overhaul in the Brazilian legislative leadership. Both the speaker of the House of Representatives, Eduardo Cunha, and the leader of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, face <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/brazil-petrobras-corruption-idUSE6N0ZF04L20150820">serious </a><a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/56958878-c45e-11e4-9019-00144feab7de.html#axzz41ldJ88WN">accusations</a>. Eventually, Cunha and Calheiros will leave their posts due to a judicial decision, resignation or, at last, because their tenure will end. Hence, it is necessary to prepare so that the future leaders of both the House of Representatives and the Senate can work closer to the public. </p><p>It is paramount that our legislative houses, in the post-Cunha and Calheiros years, be prepared to incorporate processes based on contemporary considerations such as technology, innovation, transparency, and collaboration. Nevertheless, the current lawmakers will not elect the next leaders based on the necessity to produce disruptive processes; on the contrary, the elected leadership will likely be those who will stick to the current system. Thus, the main measure to be immediately adopted is to open the election process of those who lead the Brazilian legislature.</p><p>In Brazil, the leaders of the legislative houses, besides being first in the line of succession to the presidency, have enormous power and discretion and can function as a point of balance or a point of turbulence in the political system. The sensitiveness of these positions justifies the extra input the Brazilian public should have when choosing legislative leadership.</p><p>Three simple alterations can help throw some light on the election process:</p><p><b>1.    Public and anticipated record of the candidacies</b></p><p>Today, the candidates to the presidency of the legislative houses can decide to run on the very same day of the election. Such possibility is highly antidemocratic as it reduces public debate. Ideally, all candidates should enroll at least one month prior to the election so that there is enough time to learn about their proposals and profiles.</p><p><b>2.    Make public debates among the candidates obligatory</b></p><p>Given the relevance of the leaders of both legislative houses and given the enormous discretion of this post, it is essential that this politician be someone upon whom there is no accusation of wrongdoing and also be someone connected to the present days. Only after some debates, public statements, and inquiries will it be possible to identify the profile, agendas, and main interests of the candidates.</p><p><b>3.    Open ballot to appoint the leaders of the legislative houses</b></p><p>The Brazilian Supreme Court stated in 2015 that committees established to decide presidential impeachment must be elected by open ballot. The decision was not unanimously accepted. Some respected political scientists argue that the secret ballot would be recommended, as opposed to the open ballot, which elevates the costs of dissidence.</p><p>It was understood, however, that transparency must prevail. Minister of Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber, for example, supported the open ballot in all stages of the process, noting that “the final deliberation must be taken in the form of open ballot in accordance with the Constitution”. Thus, “even the establishment of this special committee must adhere to the most absolute transparency”, said Weber.</p><p>Once the Supreme Court states that even the elections of a committee established to decide on presidential impeachment – an extreme case – must be transparent, it does not make sense to keep a secret ballot to choose the speaker/leader of the legislative houses. As for the so-called “costs of dissidence”: it can be minimized, by limiting the discretion of the speaker/leader and by adopting more objective criteria when choosing the presidents of committees.</p><p>By adopting an open ballot, the politicians will be questioned for their choices and can assume a stance that is closer to the electorate’s desires, instead of making decisions having only their own interest in perspective.</p><p>As we can see, some simple measures can guarantee a more democratic scenario when choosing the future leader of the legislature. A legislative power which is more open to innovations may help rethink the current political system. </p><p>Leaving things as they are now and trusting that the political situation cannot get any worse is no longer an option. In 2015, we saw that things can, indeed, always get worse.</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/140443786486http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/140443786486Fri, 04 Mar 2016 08:01:22 -0500BrazilNuevas perspectivas para la apertura y la transparencia legislativa en Guatemala<p><i>Este post fue escrito por <a href="https://twitter.com/natyortizb">Natalia Ortíz</a> de <a href="http://www.congresotransparente.org/">Congreso Transparente</a>.</i></p><p>Desde su inicio, la Octava Legislatura a través de la Junta Directiva así como del Presidente del Congreso de la República han mostrado su compromiso por impulsar la transparencia y apertura hacia la ciudadanía. Por su parte, Mario Taracena, señaló en su primer discurso como Presidente sobre la importancia de impulsar acciones de transparencia y de acceso a la información pública como mecanismos para el fortalecimiento de este alto Organismo de Estado.<br/></p><p>Una primera muestra de ello fue <a href="http://www.transparencialegislativa.org/noticia/salen-a-luz-los-primeros-listados-del-personal-del-congreso-de-la-republica-un-primer-paso-por-la-transparencia/">la publicación de información sobre el personal y salarios del Organismo Legislativo</a> que incluye al personal permanente, asesores legislativos y otros cargos administrativos; información que por muchos años había sido negada a organizaciones, medios de comunicación y a la ciudadanía en general, pese a ser información pública de oficio, conforme lo establece la Ley de Acceso a la Información Pública (Decreto 57-2008).</p><p>Ante estas acciones, Congreso Transparente sostuvo una reunión con el Presidente del Congreso de la República Mario Taracena el pasado 29 de enero. Los principales temas a tratar fueron <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTN7z8OlbCk&amp;feature=youtu.be">la resolución emitida</a> por el Procurador de los Derechos Humanos respecto a la violación del derecho de acceso a la información pública a nuestra organización, así como la entrega al presidente Taracena de una copia del Manual de Transparencia Legislativa como parte de los esfuerzos por impulsar mecanismos de apertura y transparencia en el marco de la Red Latinoamericana de Transparencia Legislativa.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" height="331" width="550"><img src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/f1105613ec2131a08fef993aa070002a/tumblr_inline_o3dk5aq9Ux1s1irqt_540.jpg" height="331" width="550"/></figure><p><!-- more --><br/>Como parte de ello, se están impulsando acciones para la inclusión del Organismo Legislativo en la Alianza para el Gobierno Abierto a parir de la construcción del Tercer Plan de Acción Nacional de Gobierno Abierto 2016-2018, así como en la Red de Parlamento Abierto promovida por Parlamericas.</p><p>Otro avance significativo en materia de transparencia legislativa constituye el proyecto de reformas a la Ley Orgánica del Organismo Legislativo (Decreto 14-2016), aprobado por el pleno y en el cual resaltamos y aplaudimos la implementación de formatos editables para la presentación de iniciativas de ley y dictámenes, así como la apertura de las Comisiones de Trabajo a la ciudadanía.</p><p>En ese marco, Congreso Transparente ha firmado <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvWRHjwu1x4&amp;feature=youtu.be">un convenio con la Comisión de Finanzas Públicas y Moneda</a> del Congreso de la República, presidida por el diputado Jairo Flores Divas, con el objetivo de iniciar la implementación de buenas prácticas de apertura, transparencia y acceso a la información en el trabajo de esta Comisión.</p><p>La relevancia de esta comisión radica en su papel en el conocimiento y aprobación de iniciativas sobre la asignación presupuestaria del Estado, así como de la fiscalización de la efectividad y transparencia en la ejecución del gasto público.  El trabajo a realizar con la Comisión de Finanzas también estará enfocado en transparentar la ejecución financiera del Congreso de la República y sus diferentes mecanismos administrativos y financieros como la ejecución y distribución de los recursos a través de su Presupuesto Analítico y la ejecución de sus Fondos Rotativos asignados a las diferentes instancias del Congreso.  </p><p>Con la implementación de estas acciones, nos acercamos más hacia el cumplimiento de uno de nuestros compromisos adquiridos en 2015 en la Semana Global de Transparencia Legislativa: <b>construir una ruta que permita alcanzar acciones de colaboración conjuntas para la promoción de la transparencia, apertura y rendición de cuentas ante una nueva legislatura en el Congreso de la República. </b></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/140285729903http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/140285729903Tue, 01 Mar 2016 14:20:45 -0500GuatemalaUkrainian Parliament endorses the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadiia-babynska-virna-53277a4">Nadiia Babynska</a> of <a href="http://www.oporaua.org/en/">Civil Network OPORA</a>. </i></p><p>The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially declared the 5<sup>th</sup> of February as a Day of Ukrainian Parliamentary Openness, announced during the <a href="http://www.ua.undp.org/content/ukraine/en/home/presscenter/articles/2016/02/06/the-verkhovna-rada-of-ukraine-endorsed-the-declaration-on-parliamentary-openness/">presentation</a> and <a href="https://storify.com/DHRProject/open-parliament">adoption</a> of Ukraine’s Open Parliament Action Plan.</p><p>On that day, the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Groysman, signed an order to officially endorse the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness. Thus, Ukraine joined the global movement “to enhance transparency of representative legislative bodies and aiming to ensure readiness of Parliament to invite citizens into decision-making, make legislative processes clearer and easier to understand and provide more tools for interaction”, as it is written in the recently adopted <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/gxddyk5obaplton/Action%20Plan_Open%20Parliament.pdf?dl=0">Open Parliament Action Plan for Ukraine</a>.</p><p>The Open Parliament Action Plan for Ukraine was developed by <a href="http://www.oporaua.org/en/">OPORA</a>, <a href="http://www.chesno.org/background/">CHESNO</a>, <a href="http://www.ti-ukraine.org/">Transparency International Ukraine</a>, <a href="http://cpsa.org.ua/en/">Center for Political Studies and Analysis</a>, and <a href="http://medialaw.org.ua/en/">Media Law Institute</a> together with MPs and the support of UNDP in Ukraine. These NGOs have been working on expanding parliament openness in Ukraine for many years and now, with the Action Plan in place, their work has common platform for coordination. </p><p>The process of the Open Parliament Action Plan for Ukraine started after Ukrainian civil society, UNDP, and MPs of Ukrainian Parliament attended the <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/130696242423/legislative-openness-conference-in-georgia-brings">Legislative Openness Working Group conference in Tbilisi, Georgia last September</a>. At the conference, Ukrainian activists and parliamentarians learned more about legislative openness action plans and their implementation in various countries. In particular, the Georgian experience provided guidance and motivation.</p><!-- more --><p>Ukraine’s success in this area is due to the political leadership of MP Svitlana Zalishchuk, the dedicated work of legal expert Sofia Kovach, and the coordination of UNDP, OPORA, TI Ukraine, and Chesno Movement, all of whom are supporters of the Declaration and members of the OpeningParliament network. </p><p>After dozens meetings, hours of discussion and consultation, we finalized the Open Parliament Action Plan for Ukraine with 20 commitments that Parliament and civil society will implement together during next two years (2016-2017). The primary areas of focus are:</p><p>1.) access to information,<br/>2.) involvement of citizens in the parliamentary process,<br/>3.) accountability, and<br/>4.) technology and innovation.</p><p>All these commitments were accepted by the Ukrainian Parliament. The special Monitoring group consisting of PMOs, MPs, and the Parliament’s Administrative Office was established for monitoring, consulting and implementing the Open Parliament Action Plan.  <br/></p><p>The plan was designed to advance public interest and broaden participation in the legislative processes in Ukraine. If the challenges of political instability can be overcome, the plan will help ensure that the Ukrainian Parliament is as open and its processes are as transparent and understood as possible.<br/></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/139565661178http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/139565661178Thu, 18 Feb 2016 17:00:00 -0500UkraineHidden data in parliamentary documents<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://twitter.com/kaerumy">Khairil Yusof</a> and originally appeared on the <a href="http://sinarproject.org/en">Sinar Project</a> blog <a href="http://sinarproject.org/en/updates/hidden-data-in-parliamentary-documents">here</a>. </i></p><p><b>The Malaysian government may not make some data easily available, but it can still be found and extracted from parliamentary proceedings.</b></p><p>In constrained environments such as Malaysia, government information on key issues are hard to come by, <a href="http://index.okfn.org/place/malaysia/" title="">much less as open data</a> (where Malaysia is now ranked #112, down from #98 the year before for <a href="http://index.okfn.org/">OKFN&rsquo;s Open Data Index</a>). Information is hardest to get when there is a possible element of corruption, or data that can show poor performance of government in areas that are particular concern to the public, including lopsided tolled highway concessions, crime statistics, pollution and waste of public funds. Public perception is that such information and data is not available, or under an Official Secrets Act. This is not always true, there is in fact a wealth of data and statistics hidden in official parliamentary replies. There are interesting ways to get supposedly secret or unavailable information without Freedom of Information Act with well placed questions by Members of Parliament (MPs).</p><p><b>Parliamentary documents aka #pardocs</b></p><p>We came to learn that a lot of parliamentary news stories or statements from MPs were being written citing various statistics from parliament, but could not find any of the original sources. This lead the team at Sinar Project to find out that there are written replies to parliamentary questions to MPs which are printed and handed out to all MPs, but are not available on-line for the public. In partnership with the research team of the office of <a href="http://ongkianming.com/" title="">MP Serdang, Ong Kian Ming</a>, we got hold of the scanned documents by their team and made the full text of the documents searchable on-line on the <a href="http://pardocs.sinarproject.org/" title="">pardocs.sinarproject.org</a> website. There are now over 5000 replies to MP questions available.<!-- more --></p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://36.media.tumblr.com/931f8a8bf181817f1552e2c979133463/tumblr_inline_o2ae8h6FdN1s1irqt_540.png" height="565" width="550" alt="image"/></figure><p><b> When MPs ask the right questions</b></p><p>When MP&rsquo;s ask for detailed statistics, especially for a range of several years, they often receive a good set of data as part of their parliamentary replies, which can be converted into open data. When made available as open data on a shared website, it will reduce repeated questions by different MPs, and will enable them to ask for new unavailable information instead. If the questions are phrased in a way that is too specific, then general numbers in replies are less useful and do not help to contribute to larger body of missing data. All the other MPs then will be wasting time asking for info on different areas. It also makes the task harder for civil society to put key figures together from dozens of different parliamentary replies.</p><blockquote><p><u>Example</u>: It is recommended that constituents and their MPs coordinate to ask for information for every area in their state by constituency or particular subject such as crime, and for several years for every category that they can think of would be useful.</p><p> MP Pasir Mas, Nik Mohamad Abduh: <a href="http://pardocs.sinarproject.org/documents/2015-october-november-parliamentary-session/oral-questions-soalan-lisan/2015-10-29-parliamentary-replies/soalan-24.pdf/view" title="">Please give crime statistics by age, for each category, by year since 2010</a>. <a href="http://data.sinarproject.org/dataset/total-arrests-by-type-age-for-malaysia-2010-2015-sep" title="">Open data</a>. <br/></p></blockquote><p>To get around the Official Secrets Act that mask corruption such as lopsided deals on tolled highways or projects, MPs can ask about government expenditure, related to such deals which can be shared. Government expenditure breakdown is key information that is not published by Malaysian government. More MPs need to ask questions on expenditure data for key departments and projects. With enough detailed data on expenditure, researchers can figure out some of the conditions and percentages of such deals, or see gaps for which additional questions could be asked in Parliament.</p><blockquote><p><u>Example</u>: It is recommended that constituents and MPs coordinate to ask for detailed expenditure breakdown on projects or agreements to uncover points covered by secret agreements</p><p>MP Taiping, Nga Kor Ming:<a href="http://pardocs.sinarproject.org/documents/2014-october-november-parliamentary-session/oral-questions-soalan-lisan/2014-10-30-parliamentary-replies/soalan-28.pdf/view" title=""> Please give amount of concessions paid by government to tolled highway concessionaires, by company from 2008-2014</a>. <a href="http://data.sinarproject.org/dataset/tolled-highway-concessions-2008-2013" title="">Open data</a>. <br/></p></blockquote><p><b> Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) reports</b></p><p><a href="http://pardocs.sinarproject.org/documents/commitees" title="">PAC Reports</a> are another large source of open data on key issues related to governance and corruption. These documents can be mined for data that complies to <a href="http://www.popoloproject.com/" title="">Popolo government standards</a> into a central database such as <a href="http://sinarproject.org/en/projects/popit-api-database/popit" title="">Popit</a>. They are a source of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and positions they hold in various companies, obscure government committees, agencies, departments and private companies and individuals for which contracts were provided and never held accountable. For example, who are the directors and companies involved in <a href="http://pardocs.sinarproject.org/documents/commitees/public-accounts-committee/pac-13th-parliament-session/2014/dr11/view" title="">KLIA2 airport cost overruns</a>? If they are made easily available as open data, analysis can be done with joined up data and selective MP questions to find out if they are still awarded contracts or currently holding key government positions.</p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/64bc6824726e78879e6703502cbf9f45/tumblr_inline_o2aeatUGVn1s1irqt_540.png" data-orig-height="209" width="550" alt="image"/></figure><p>In addition PAC report appendices and supporting documents contain hundreds of pages of scanned detailed expenditure reports (which are generally unavailable), that should be converted to and available as open data for study and transparency.</p><p><b>Making the open data available and help contributing</b></p><p>All of this takes a lot of work, but it is important and in constrained environments like Malaysia one of the only ways the public will ever be able to get key governance data. Shared contributions from public and researchers is needed. We have setup a CKAN instance at <a href="http://data.sinarproject.org/" title="">data.sinarproject.org</a> and <a href="http://data.sinarproject.org/group/pardocs" title="">Parliamentary Documents</a> group for individuals and organizations to share open data converted or extracted from parliamentary documents. <a href="http://data.sinarproject.org/user/register">Register as a user</a> and join the community of contributors as an individual or organization. Contact us at team@sinarproject.org if you need assistance in contributing.</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/139186927538http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/139186927538Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:15:14 -0500MalaysiaUnderstanding the impact of PMOs for the 2016 World eParliament Report<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://twitter.com/andy_williamson">Andy Williamson</a>. </i></p><p>When the first World eParliament Report was first published in 2008 it was the first attempt to survey a large number of parliaments about their use of digital technologies. A joint project between the <a href="http://www.ictparliament.org/">Global Centre for ICT in Parliament</a> and the <a href="http://www.ipu.org/">Inter-Parliamentary Union</a>, there have been two further reports, in 2010 and 2012. And now a new and updated global survey will be published in 2016 by the IPU. Transparency has been there from the start, though it has been framed in terms of publishing reports and how to promote such things via a parliament’s own website. Increasingly, alongside with work parliaments are doing themselves, we’ve seen the rise of PMOs, campaigning for more openness from parliaments, publishing data themselves and even working with parliament, so in 2016 <a href="http://fluidsurveys.com/s/IPUpmosurvey/">we want to ask PMOs about their work</a> and include this in the report for the first time. </p><p> <b><a href="http://fluidsurveys.com/s/IPUpmosurvey/">Link to the survey.</a> </b><br/></p><p>Digital is an area that has developed rapidly. Back in 2008 the focus was on internal process; document management, networks within parliament and looking at members’ access to PCs. There’s also a brief mention of a small group of parliaments who are starting to explore new ICT-based methods for communicating with citizens and for engaging them in constructive discussions. By the 2012 report the trends were becoming obvious, not just the rapid encroachment of the internet into the work of parliaments but also the emergence of social media as a tool to both communicate and engage with citizens. When the 2012 report was published, one-third of parliaments reported using social media and a further third reported that they were looking at it or planning to adopt. </p><p><a href="http://www.ictparliament.org/world-e-parliament-reports/">The World eParliament Report series</a> was developed to support parliaments and to help them understand and improve their ICT usage and effectiveness. The audience has primarily been internal and this was reflected in the focus of the early reports. </p><p>The report has had a four-year break, so when the time came to start preparing the 2016 report it was quite obvious that the world had moved on quite a way. It has changed because of the opportunities afforded by the internet and internet-based technologies. First through the enhanced opportunities not just for publishing and broadcasting, which still matter, but also for interaction with citizen. It is now not simply possible to involve ordinary people in the process of law making in ways that were previously unimaginable, it is increasingly being demanded. </p><p>It has now not simply possible but seen as good practice to make parliamentary information available in ways that allow others to take that data and add value to it. Where in the past the management of parliamentary information has been a proprietary, internal process ending, it is now often the case that others outside parliament are able to take this information and do more with it.</p><p>The rise of PMO sector is clearly a significant factor in this move to openness. A range of initiatives including the <a href="http://www.openingparliament.org/declaration">Declaration of Parliamentary Openness</a> demonstrate the key function they perform in increasing the openness and transparency of parliaments. The value of such organisations and their projects is well known to this audience. But it is often less well known or appreciated by parliaments, who can be slow to adopt new methods and therefore can be wary of this shift. </p><p>The 2016 World eParliament Report will have a strong focus on open data and publication standards. Much more than earlier reports simply because it is now so much more prominent. Openness is now business as usual for many parliaments and a huge opportunity to strengthen democracy in many others. It’s also an area that we need to support parliaments to understand and engage with, not see as a challenge or a threat. But to do this without recognising both the leading role being played by PMOs as well as the shift in the landscape to encourage collaboration and open publishing would be remiss. </p><p>So we want to reach out to the PMO community and ask you help us map where you are working with parliaments and their data - and tell us what you are doing with it. We want to know about the success stories but we also want to discover the barriers and challenges. Our final report will be read by members and officials in parliaments around the world, we want them to see the value and opportunities that come for both parliaments and citizens from working together. </p><p>If you’re running a PMO, <a href="http://fluidsurveys.com/s/IPUpmosurvey/">please help us by completing the survey here</a> (it will take you about 10-15 minutes and is available in English, French and Spanish). And please also share it with others who might not reading this blog! When we’ve finished, we’ll share the data with NDI and others to make sure we’re supporting the growth of PMOs too! </p><p><a href="http://fluidsurveys.com/s/IPUpmosurvey/"><b>Link to the survey.</b></a></p><hr><p><i><a href="http://twitter.com/andy_williamson">Dr Andy Williamson</a> is the Founder of <a href="http://democrati.se/">Democratise</a>. A democratic consultant, writer and speaker, working internationally to strengthen democracy and improve democratic engagement, he is currently leading the IPU’s World eParliament Report project. </i></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/138950549038http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/138950549038Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:00:00 -0500What would legislation for data infrastructure and open data look like?<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://twitter.com/peterkwells?lang=en">Peter Wells</a> of the <a href="http://theodi.org/">Open Data Institute</a> and originally appeared on their blog <a href="http://theodi.org/blog/what-would-legislation-for-data-infrastructure-look-like">here</a>. </i></p><p> Given the importance of data infrastructure, countries should be looking to <a href="http://theodi.org/blog/an-open-letter-to-the-chair-of-the-new-infrastructure-commission" title="strengthen it">strengthen it</a>. One of the ways that countries can strengthen their data infrastructure is through legislation. France has recently been <a href="http://www.english.rfi.fr/culture/20150927-france-opens-online-consultation-draft-digital-republic-law" title="recently been exploring legislation for open data">exploring legislation for open data</a> whilst the UK is looking at new <a href="http://datasharing.org.uk/2015/12/11/invitation-to-data-sharing-sessions-in-january/" title="data sharing legislation">data sharing legislation</a>.</p><p>We’ve been wondering what legislation for both data infrastructure and open data might look like.</p><p><b>Potential data infrastructure and open data legislation</b></p><p>All countries have existing data legislation, policies and governance and are likely to have more planned. Any new legislation for data infrastructure and data assets will have to interact with these. Hopefully it would clarify them. There is a list of some of the data legislation in the UK further down this post.</p><p>Our initial ideas for data infrastructure legislation clearly do not cover all of the data-related legislation that countries should have. Freedom of information, data sharing and data protection legislation are important too.</p><p>We believe that a first legislative step would be to define data infrastructure and what it means for data to be part of data infrastructure; designate some assets as data infrastructure, including some as open data; and define a set of responsibilities for the organisations that operate, maintain and provide oversight for all data assets in the infrastructure.</p><p><i>Such legislation would</i>:</p><p><u>Define a set of roles and responsibilities around data infrastructure assets</u> such as data collectors, maintainers, publishers and regulators. It would give basic requirements for the responsibilities of each of these roles (eg that publishers must make the data available in machine-readable form) but provide for future flexibility by stating that standards and guidelines will be specified through separate materials published outside legislation.</p><p><u>Define what it means to be open data within the data infrastructure</u>, what additional roles and responsibilities this incurs, and what kinds of data should be designated as open data. Not all data infrastructure assets will be designated as open data infrastructure assets. For other data infrastructure assets it should be specified what the sharing regime is for those assets.</p><!-- more --><p><u>Provide a legislative framework</u> that enables someone (for example the Minister from the department responsible for the data, or a Chief Data Officer) the power to designate a particular dataset as being a data infrastructure asset using secondary legislation. This enables the list of data infrastructure assets to grow over time. Primary legislation would need to define what secondary legislation needs to say about data assets. For example, secondary legislation might define spending data as data infrastructure. It would need to state what items are included (eg the granularity of the spend items), what information about them must be provided (eg the category of the spend), and under what access regime (eg that it should be published openly). Legislation should not include technical details such as the format in which it should be published because technical best practice is likely to change.</p><p><u>Designate certain assets as data infrastructure assets</u> and indicate who the collector, maintainer, publisher, access regime, and so on are for each of those assets. These would fall into three general categories:</p><ul><li>classes of materials, such as <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/6-7/51/schedule/FIRST" title="public records">public records</a> and <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/18/part/1/crossheading/national-statistics" title="national statistics">national statistics</a></li><li>existing data infrastructure assets defined by legislation, including various<a href="https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2015/12/16/linking-registers/" title="registers">registers</a> where there is already a designated registrar</li><li>new data infrastructure assets which have been mandated by policy as part of the government’s open data initiative, such as spending data or election data</li></ul><p><u>Set some limits about the removal of data assets</u> from the list of data infrastructure assets, eg that changes to their status (both whether they are listed or not and what their access regime is) can only happen with at least a year’s notice. This ensures that businesses can expect and rely on stability from data assets listed within the data infrastructure.</p><p><b>Existing legislation for one jurisdiction</b></p><p>When composing our initial draft ideas we particularly considered the jurisdiction that we are most familiar with: the UK. In the UK a list of data legislation would include:</p><ul><li>the <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/6-7/51/schedule/FIRST" title="public records act">Public Records Act</a></li><li>the <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/18/part/1/crossheading/national-statistics" title="Statistics and Registration Service Act">Statistics and Registration Service Act</a></li><li>the <a href="https://theodi.org/blog/appeal-to-the-foi-commission-dont-confuse-open-data-with-foi" title="Freedom of Information Act">Freedom of Information Act (FOI)</a></li><li>the <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents" title="Data Protection Act">Data Protection Act (DPA)</a></li><li>the <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/3391/contents/made" title="Environmental Information Regulations">Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)</a></li><li>the <a href="https://theodi.org/blog/updates-to-uk-government-information-laws-has-anything-changed" title="Reuse of Public Sector Information) regulations">Reuse of Public Sector Information (PSI)</a></li><li>the <a href="https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/inspire-regulations/" title="INSPIRE">INSPIRE</a> regulations</li></ul><p>Many other pieces of legislation exist that impact on the UK’s data infrastructure. To give just one example the <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/contents" title="Companies Act 2006">Companies Act 2006</a> provides the most recent legislation for the publication of <a href="https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/help/welcome" title="data on UK registered companies">data on UK registered companies</a>.</p><p>Alongside this data legislation there are policy statements for open data. Policies exist at many levels of government, for example:</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/data-info/open-data/" title="https://www.england.nhs.uk">https://www.england.nhs.uk</a></li><li><a href="http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/6869714/Transparency+and+open+data+policy+and+duties+2015-09-15.pdf/dfd70b53-7090-4e2e-b02b-7518efe3afd9" title="http://www.local.gov.uk">http://www.local.gov.uk</a></li><li><a href="http://news.camden.gov.uk/camden-commits-to-a-new-open-data-charter" title="http://news.camden.gov.uk">http://news.camden.gov.uk</a></li></ul><p>Policy is useful but legislation provides a level of reliability for data publishers and consumers that policies cannot.</p><p><b>What do you think data infrastructure and open data legislation should look like?</b></p><p>We believe that the cities, countries and even continents that build the best and most open data infrastructure will have an enormous advantage in the 21st century economy. We believe that legislation is one of the ways to strengthen data infrastructure.</p><p>What do you think? Do you know of existing legislative models for data infrastructure and open data? Do you have other ideas for how governments should start building legislative models for data infrastructure and open data?</p><p>Share your thoughts in the comments, send us an email to <a href="mailto:policy@theodi.org" title="policy@theodi.org">policy@theodi.org</a>, drop us a link to your blog or tweet us with your thoughts @ODIHQ.</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/138017347692http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/138017347692Mon, 25 Jan 2016 08:01:02 -0500UKOpenParl News Brief: January 19, 2016<p><b>News from the parliamentary monitoring community:<br/></b></p><p>In <b>Afghanistan</b>, the <a href="http://www.fefao.org/New-Site/English/">Free &amp; Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA)</a> <a href="http://www.fefao.org/New-Site/English/index.php/component/content/article/13-content-slider/247-fefa-released-its-six-month-parliamentary-monitoring-report-3?Itemid=206">released its six-month report on parliamentary activities</a>. Findings of the report include the number of plenary and committee sessions held, the number of laws approved, positive developments and shortcomings, as well as recommendations for improvement. The report is published during a critical period in Afghanistan, with  the government in the midst of extended political gridlock preventing the enactment of much needed reforms. FEFA also signed a MoU with the Meshrano Jirga, the upper house of parliament, to conduct a similar assessment, with aims to increase public awareness on parliament’s activities and strengthen the level of cooperation between parliament and civil society.</p><p>In <b>Costa Rica</b>, the Alliance for Open Assembly, which includes <a href="http://accesa.org/">ACCESA</a>, <a href="http://abriendodatoscostarica.org/">Abriendo Datos</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/costaricaintegra/">Costa Rica Íntegra</a>, <a href="http://iplexcr.org/">Iplex</a>, <a href="http://derechoalacomunicacion.ucr.ac.cr/">Proledi</a>, and <a href="http://www.ojoalvoto.com/">Ojo al Voto</a>, partnered with the <a href="http://www.directoriolegislativo.org/">Fundación Directorio Legislativo</a> to foment major strides toward openness within the Costa Rican legislature. Together they <a href="http://accesa.org/2015/10/20/directorio-legislativo-presenta-junto-con-alianza-por-una-asamblea-abierta-el-plan-de-acciones-prioritarias-para-la-apertura-legislativa/">created and signed a commitment</a> seeking to promote openness, transparency, and accountability. The commitment includes a variety of different components, each working to counter the existing lack of trust in Costa Rican institutions. This commitment combined with the drafting of an action plan for legislative opening seek to strengthen and enable “a more democratic democracy.”</p><p>In <b>Mexico</b>, for the tenth anniversary of the Collective for Transparency campaign, <a href="http://fundar.org.mx/">Fundar </a>launched <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Armonizatuley">#ArmonizaTuLey,</a> an initiative to monitor the process of harmonizing state laws with the new federal regulatory framework for transparency and access to information. With the approval of the constitutional reform in 2013 and the General Act in 2014, Mexico has set up a robust framework that safeguards these rights. Fundar reports that while the deadline for adoption of the new regulatory framework is fast approaching, 29 states in Mexico still have not completed this obligation. The Collective for Transparency calls on legislators to fulfill their legal obligation of harmonizing state laws, respect this timeline for action, and engage citizens in this effort.</p><p>In <b>Kenya</b>, <a href="http://info.mzalendo.com/">Mzalendo Trust</a> <a href="http://www.mzalendo.com/blog/2014/11/28/mzalendo-launches-the-peoples-shujaaz-awards/">announced the second People’s Shujaaz Awards</a> to recognize Parliamentarians for championing issues of high public interest in the National Assembly and Senate in 2015. The final selection was made based on the legislators’ demonstration of leadership, factoring in the motions that were put forth, and statements and petitions they represented. The nominees were chosen in consultation with civil society groups under the <a href="http://www.pin.or.ke/">Parliamentary Initiatives Network</a>. While Mzalendo hopes that the People’s Shujaaz Awards helps to spotlight the positive achievements and key contributions made in Parliament, Mzalendo also issued a list of <a href="http://www.mzalendo.com/blog/2015/12/22/lessons-from-the-peoples-shujaaz-awards/">lessons learned</a>, with recommendations for the legislature to strengthen its image, communicate its work more effectively with citizens, and find new ways for civic engagement using technology and social media.<br/></p><p>In the <b>US</b>, the <a href="http://opengovfoundation.org/">OpenGov Foundation</a> received a $200,000 grant from the <a href="http://ritaallen.org/">Rita Allen Foundation</a> to support the continued development of an open-source platform to digitize Chicago’s legislative process over the next two years. In partnership with<a href="http://www.chicityclerk.com/"> Chicago’s City Clerk’s office</a>, the project aims to keep legislation in standardized, accessible formats, and allow citizens to better share feedback with their elected officials.</p><p>In <b>India</b>, <a href="http://www.prsindia.org/">PRS Legislative Research</a> published two <a href="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/winter-session-of-parliament-putting-the-house-in-order/article8026141.ece">op-eds</a> on legislative reform in major news outlets.  The authors called to question the effectiveness of India’s legislature, highlighting in particular the decrease in legislative productivity caused by disruptions and lapses in conduct by members. With a detailed <a href="http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/parliament-winter-session-2015-rajya-sabha-lok-sabha/">breakdown</a> of how time was used during parliamentary proceedings, the articles underscores the necessity of urgent reforms to restore both the Parliament’s role as an effective deliberative body, as well as citizens’ faith in Parliament as a representative institution as a whole.</p><!-- more --><p>In <b>Tunisia</b>, <a href="http://www.albawsala.com/en/">Al Bawsala</a> published an<a href="http://www.albawsala.com/uploads/documents/Rapport%20Al%20Bawsala%202015.pdf"> annual report</a>, which assesses the work of the first session of parliament. The report evaluates the legislative work done in general, as well as the performance of the House of Representatives, using quantitative and qualitative measures, and offers recommendations for more effective legislative functioning.</p><p>In <b>South Africa</b>, the <a href="https://pmg.org.za/">Parliamentary Monitoring Group</a> published its <a href="https://pmg.org.za/page/newsletter">annual report</a>, which details the activities, controversies, and highlights from the year’s parliamentary sessions. The group also produced an <a href="http://www.pa.org.za/blog/infographic-fifth-parliament-review-numbers">infographic</a> that includes basic statistics on the year in parliament, including the number of plenary sittings and committee meetings, the number of bills signed by the president, and the response rate during question time. </p><p>In <b>Jordan</b>, <a href="http://www.hayatcenter.org/">Al-Hayat Center for Civil Society Development (RASED)</a>, in cooperation with the Parliamentary Legal Committee, organized a <a href="http://www.hayatcenter.org/news/national-conference-entitled-the-democratic-impact-on-the-draft-election-law-for-the-2015-parliament/">national conference</a> to present a new draft election law. The draft law was developed through broad consensus from political party members and civil society, and is considered a foundation for political reform, with the potential to greatly impact the performance of parliamentary councils. Development of the law is marked by collaboration with the Jordanian government and a high level of citizen participation, with 6,842 citizens that participated in the Commission’s dialogues on the law, including 34% participation by women.</p><p>In <b>Argentina</b>, <a href="http://www.acij.org.ar/">Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ)</a>, <a href="http://www.adc.org/">Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC)</a>, <a href="http://www.directoriolegislativo.org/">Fundación Directorio Legislativo</a>, and <a href="http://www.poderciudadano.org/">Poder Ciudadano</a> collaborated to create the <a href="http://agendatransparencia.org/">Agenda de Transparencia para Argentina</a>. The reform agenda highlights issues that President Macri will face as he enters office, and offers ways to address these issues through engaging citizens and activist groups. The agenda includes  proposals for an open budget process, employee and administrative data, as well as access to session and commission meetings.</p><p> In <b>Albania</b>, <a href="http://www.zgjedhje.al/index.php?idart=73&amp;gj=en#">the Coalition of Domestic Observers (CDO)</a> published a <a href="http://www.zgjedhje.al/uploads/File/2014-2015/CDO-Statement-LocalSelfGovernance-AwayFromPoliticizationAndCloseToTheCitizenry-15-12-2015.pdf">statement </a>that expresses its support for the adoption of the draft-law, “For local self-governance”, though also calling for the establishment of a feedback mechanism for the law’s implementation to help bring local governance closer to citizens. CDO also released a <a href="http://www.zgjedhje.al/uploads/File/2014-2015/CDO-Statement-TwoCECmemberWithExpiredMandate-StillNoInstitutionalStep-27-11-2015.pdf">statement </a>that expressed its concern for the limited role that the Assembly of Albania, deputies, and parliamentary parties have had in replacing two members of the Central Election Commission, whose mandates had expired more than one month previously. In the statement, the Coalition highlighted the lack of a legal framework and enforcement  as a major challenge that negatively impacts the aim and spirit of reforms in Albania. <br/></p><p><b>Other related news: </b></p><p>More than 4,000 people attended<a href="http://populusaurio.cl/"> Populusaurio 2015</a>, the third annual gathering of civil society organizations. Over 58 civil society organizations were represented at the event. The formal declaration of the conference proposed implementing mandatory civic, ethical and human rights training in all schools and universities; establishing an official ombudsperson to ensure the protection of human rights; and to raise and clarify ethical standards to govern transactions in the public and private sectors.</p><p>The <a href="https://okfn.org/">Open Knowledge Foundation</a>, together with the Open Definition Advisory Board, added to their <a href="http://opendefinition.org/">Open Definition</a>, creating version 2.1. Revisions include updates to several issues, including open license, machine readability and open format.</p><p><a href="http://www.transparency.ge/en">Transparency International Georgia (TI)</a> covers the developments of a<a href="http://www.parliament.ge/en/law/11031/27537"> proposal</a> to amend the Election Code of Georgia, which aims to reduce the difference in the sizes of majoritarian districts, and thereby grant an equality of votes to each constituency and lessen the disparity in representation. TI presents their assessment on the Constitutional Court’s ruling, pointing out the shortcomings of the draft law, and calling into question whether the proposed system complies with constitutional and international standards. TI-Georgia re-asserts its stance that the 2016 parliamentary elections should be held in a fully proportional electoral system</p><p>The <a href="http://www.lobbyingtransparency.org/about/">Scottish Alliance for Lobbying Transparency (SALT)</a> pushed forward their campaign for greater transparency in lobbying, putting their demands to parliament and calling for amendments to be made to a key lobbying bill. This follows the release of <a href="http://www.lobbyingtransparency.org/salt/#about-salt">poll results</a> that reflect high public support for stronger measures to restrict lobbying, with 91% of respondents agreeing that the lobbying register should cover more than just face-to-face meetings, and include lobbying of all public officials. SALT also demands that the scope of the bill be expanded to require lobbyists to declare how much they spend.</p><p>The <a href="http://nimd.org/">Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy</a> (NIMD) <a href="http://opengovfoundation.org/joining-a-global-discussion-of-civic-technology-in-the-hague/">held a conference </a>to promote technological innovation in government. <a href="http://opengovfoundation.org/">OpenGov Foundation</a>, along with four other civic technology organizations from Argentina, Iceland, Italy and New Zealand, joined to discuss their work with elected officials and representatives from numerous Dutch and Georgian political parties.</p><p>Mzalendo also <a href="http://www.mzalendo.com/blog/2015/12/28/loopholes-in-the-new-national-government-constituencies-development-fund/">reports </a>that the constituency development fund (CDF) law was signed. Although unanimously passed by the Kenyan National Assembly, it has been met with resistance from Senate as well as civil society. The new law makes CDF funds a mandate of MPs to supplement national government development projects, and allows for citizen engagement to decide how the funds will be used. The signing of the law follows calls by civil society earlier in the year to declare the CDF unconstitutional, as it is viewed to violate the division of power between the the national government and the legislature.</p><p><b>Resources:</b></p><p><a href="http://www.transparency.si/">Transparency International Slovenia</a> has created a new tool, <a href="http://www.zakonodajni-monitor.si/">Zakonodajni Monitor</a>, in the pursuit of uncovering the “legislative footprint”. The platform combines a database of legislation from the National Assembly, data about members of the National Assembly, reported lobbying contacts, and other sources of data to provide a holistic view of the legislative process. Transparency international Slovenia hopes that journalists, civil society activists, NGOs, and concerned individuals can utilize the tool to find information and to support their advocacy work.</p><p>The <a href="https://okfn.org/">Open Knowledge Foundation</a> launched <a href="http://datawijs.be/#beginbeeld">Datawijs</a>, an interactive video series that aims to introduce the concept of open data to young adults and teenagers. Datawijs has three layers of videos, each with different aims and capabilities. With this resource, the Open Knowledge Foundation seeks “to turn digital natives into open data literates”.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.openinstitute.com/">Open Institute</a> released the alpha version of the <a href="http://www.sdgtracker.info/">SDG Tracker</a>, a dashboard that will monitor and visualizes on the progress made on the <a href="http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/">Sustainable Development Goals</a> over the next 15 years.</p><p><b>Upcoming events:</b></p><p><a href="http://opendataday.org/">Open Data Day</a> will take place around the world on March 5. </p><p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1690074087886940/">Personal Democracy Forum: Poland and CEE 2016</a> will take place in Gdansk, Poland on March 17-18. </p><p>Transparency Camp is coming to Europe! Open State Foundation will host the first <a href="https://transparencycamp.eu/">TCamp EU</a> in Amsterdam on June 1. </p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/137546401141http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/137546401141Mon, 18 Jan 2016 07:00:24 -0500AlbaniaUSKenyaCosta RicaMexicoTunisiaSouth AfricaJordanArgentinaUKChileGeorgiaScotlandPolandSloveniaNetherlandsApply for support and development from mySociety<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/">mySociety</a> and originally appeared on their blog <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/mysociety-around-the-world/apply-for-support-and-development-from-mysociety/">here</a>. </i></p><p>If your application is successful, you’ll benefit from our help with coding, hosting, and general advice on how best to deploy our codebases.<br/></p><p>We process applications on a quarterly basis.<b> </b>The cut-off date for the next assessment is:</p><h5><b>31 January 2016, 23:59 hrs GMT<br/></b></h5><p>Apply now, and we will inform you whether or not you’ve been successful by 08 February 2015.</p><h5>What we offer</h5><ul><li>As much support as you need to get your site up and running with one of the following codebases, adapted to your language and featuring your chosen colour scheme, logo, and site name: <a href="http://alaveteli.org/">Alaveteli</a>, <a href="https://www.fixmystreet.com/">FixMyStreet</a>, <a href="http://writeinpublic.com/en/">WriteInPublic</a>, and <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/about/mysociety-around-the-world/international-partners-case-study-yournextrepresentative/">YourNextRepresentative</a>.</li><li> Additional developer time to adapt the codebase to your project’s individual needs.</li><li>Six months of free hosting, if required—we’ll review the situation at the end of this six-month period.</li></ul><p><i><b>Note</b>: Offers do not cover: the building of new features; work on codebases other than those named above; mobile applications.</i></p><h5>How to apply</h5><p>First, make sure you’ve read <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/mysociety-around-the-world/are-we-the-right-partner-for-you/">Are We The Right Partner For You?</a> and <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/mysociety-around-the-world/what-we-offer-our-partners/">What We Offer Our Partners</a>.</p><p>Once you are ready to apply, <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ObN9vX_oSeJ_DUI4CS7bni_sD8l0ghU5FxVNcKSJPn8/viewform?fbzx=-4334218357113837929">fill in this form</a>.</p><p>Make sure you’ve checked the next application date at the top of this page.</p><p><i><b>Note</b>: Sadly, we are not able to approve all applications. Due to our own limited resources, we sometimes have to make hard choices about the projects we can commit to.</i></p><p>You can maximise your chance of a positive outcome by providing information, via the application form, that shows your planned project will be useful, viable, and resourced for the long term.</p><!-- more --><h5>See what others have achieved with our codebases</h5><p><a href="https://www.mysociety.org/about/mysociety-around-the-world/international-partners-case-study-por-mi-barrio/"><b>Por Mi Barrio</b></a>: Por Mi Barrio is a Uruguayan install of our FixMyStreet software, allowing citizens in the city of Montevideo to report street problems. <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/about/mysociety-around-the-world/international-partners-case-study-por-mi-barrio/">Read more</a>.</p><p><a href="https://www.mysociety.org/about/mysociety-around-the-world/international-partners-case-study-kimittud/"><b>KiMitTud</b></a>:<b> </b>KiMitTud is a Hungarian Freedom of Information site which runs on our Alaveteli platform. <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/about/mysociety-around-the-world/international-partners-case-study-kimittud/">Read more.</a></p><p><a href="https://www.mysociety.org/about/mysociety-around-the-world/international-partners-case-study-yournextrepresentative/"><b>YourNext Representative</b></a>: A reusable codebase for crowdsourcing candidate information before an election. <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/about/mysociety-around-the-world/international-partners-case-study-yournextrepresentative/">Read more</a>.</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/137355899283http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/137355899283Fri, 15 Jan 2016 12:30:00 -0500UruguayHungaryUKLegislative openness in 2015: Incremental progress, but public confidence in parliaments remains low<p>Parliaments around the world, together with a growing number of dedicated civil society organizations, made incremental progress in 2015 towards increasing transparency and opening up the legislative process to greater citizen engagement. Among other highlights, 2015 saw increased parliamentary engagement in the <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/">Open Government Partnership</a> (OGP); the continued development of international norms and standards for democratic, open, and accountable legislatures; and, more robust networking of members, parliamentary staff, and civil society organizations on legislative openness.<br/></p><p>Despite these important steps, significant challenges remain. Parliaments continue to be among the least trusted public institutions around the world. For example, this year’s <a href="http://www.latinobarometro.org/lat.jsp">Latinobarómetro</a> poll revealed that public confidence in legislatures in Latin America hovered <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21666234-without-growth-there-nothing-distract-regions-endemic-ills-when-tide-goes">below 25%</a>, lower than the government, police, and media. Low levels of trust and confidence are often accompanied by low levels of public engagement and limited knowledge of the legislative process, which weakens the legislature&rsquo;s ability to perform its core function of representation. However, by building on the momentum established last year, 2016 can be a year of progress in building citizen confidence and opening up the legislative process. A number of exciting initiatives—some of which are discussed below—can help further advance the open parliament agenda and help realize the potential of open parliament reform. </p><p><b><i>Improved parliamentary engagement in OGP</i></b></p><p>Around the world, legislatures are exploring opportunities to strengthen their performance on openness and related issues. Most notable, perhaps, has been the rapid expansion of parliamentary participation in the <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/">Open Government Partnership</a>. Over the course of 2015, OGP’s <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">Legislative Openness Working Group</a> engaged with legislatures in more than half of the 69 participating OGP countries, demonstrating broad demand and support for parliamentary participation. A further indication of progress, the <a href="http://ogpsummit.org/">OGP Global Summit</a> in Mexico City featured a <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/133815143433/how-the-2015-ogp-global-summit-changed-the-open">dedicated legislative track</a>, which included over 50 parliamentarians, 8 sessions, and a half-day working meeting on using OGP to advance legislative openness. </p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://36.media.tumblr.com/543afdd44ef163ae604765c360f4fb94/tumblr_inline_o0ux9ov9h11s1irqt_540.png" alt="image" width="550" height="185"/></figure><p><i>Parliamentary and civil society representatives from 6 countries discuss legislative openness at the OGP Global Summit. </i></p><p>Participating parliaments are using OGP to both enhance their own transparency and to spread a culture of openness across government. To date, more than <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ua7HcCbd69HDKqiz7FW2QKr5ExH4cTNmupuVROdBEeU/edit?usp=sharing">15 percent of commitments</a> made in OGP national action plans involve legislative action. This includes legislative reform—such as the Netherlands’ commitment to offer new ways of releasing legislative data and calendars—as well as legislative action to expand openness throughout government — such as the passage of a right to information law in Ghana. </p><!-- more --><p>Perhaps the most significant development of 2015 was the increasing number of open parliament action plans, adopted within the OGP framework, in partnership with civil society. For example, the Parliament of Georgia launched an Inter-Factional Working Group that was tasked with developing and implementing an <a href="https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://idfi.ge/public/upload/Open+Parliament+Georgia+Action+Plan+(2015-2016).pdf">action plan</a> on legislative openness. Civil society played an essential role at each step in this process, with key contributions from the <a href="https://idfi.ge/en">Institute for Development of Freedom of Information</a> and <a href="http://www.transparency.ge/en">Transparency International Georgia</a>. Civil society will continue to play a key role as the parliament moves from commitment to implementation. Due to this innovative work, the Inter-Factional Group was awarded the first <a href="https://ogpblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/georgia-wins-the-first-ogp-government-champions-award/">OGP Government Champions Award</a>. The Parliament also co-hosted the <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/130696242423/legislative-openness-conference-in-georgia-brings">global meeting</a> of the Legislative Openness Working Group, which convened more than 100 participants from more than 30 countries. Of course, Georgia is not alone: legislatures in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Serbia, Ukraine and elsewhere made significant steps in the last year towards deepening engagement in OGP and working with domestic civil society to craft commitments and action plans. In 2016, the commitments and plans made in 2015 should start to produce real, meaningful reform. </p><p><b><i>Continued development of legislative norms and standards</i></b></p><p>In 2015, parliaments, civil society groups, and international organizations continued to develop and strengthen the body of international norms and standards for democratic, open and accountable parliaments. Standards can provide guidance to parliaments seeking to reform and provide a valuable advocacy tool for civil society groups. International parliamentary associations continued to develop and update foundational norms and standards for democratic parliaments. For instance, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Asia regional group updated their standards for what constitutes a democratic legislature.  </p><p>Numerous standards documents relating to legislative openness were launched this year, particularly regarding ethics. The <a href="http://www.cpahq.org/">Commonwealth Parliamentary Association</a> published a <a href="http://www.cpahq.org/cpahq/Main/Document_Library/Codes_of_Conduct/Codes_of_Conduct_.aspx">document</a> that outlines standards for both an effective ethics regime and implementation of ethics rules. While this document considers institutional responsibilities to uphold ethics, the Legislative Openness Working Group, in conjunction with the broader parliamentary openness community, developed a series of <a href="https://drive.google.com/a/ndi.org/file/d/0ByP1nXAlz_meM09SNGI5alFhSjQ/view">normative standards</a> on ethical responsibilities and prohibitions for individual members of parliament. Copies of this document were circulated at the end of 2015, and an outreach and endorsement campaign will be launched in early 2016. Together, these two new documents represent an important normative foundation for legislative ethics reform. </p><p>Civil society groups also took the lead on developing standards in other areas of interest, including lobbying and campaign finance regulation. Spearheaded by the <a href="http://sunlightfoundation.com/">Sunlight Foundation</a>, <a href="http://www.globalintegrity.org/">Global Integrity</a>, and the <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/electoralintegrityproject4/home">Electoral Integrity Project</a>, the <a href="http://moneypoliticstransparency.org/">Money, Politics and Transparency</a> initiative developed a <a href="http://moneypoliticstransparency.org/declaration">Declaration on Political Finance Openness</a>. The Declaration outlines an affirmative vision for an open system of political finance. A coalition of leading open government advocacy groups also launched the <a href="http://lobbyingtransparency.net/standards/">International Standards for Lobbying Regulation</a>, which provide detailed guidance on the development of effective, transparent lobbying regulations. </p><p><b><i>Consolidation and expansion of parliamentary monitoring networks</i></b></p><p>Throughout the year, the global parliamentary monitoring community continued to deepen its contributions to open, accountable legislatures. 2015 saw the expansion and consolidation of a number of regional and global networks of parliamentary monitoring groups. Regional networks, including the <a href="http://www.transparencialegislativa.org/">Latin American Legislative Transparency Network</a> and an Eastern European network continued to deepen their collaboration on parliamentary monitoring and legislative openness advocacy. The <a href="http://www.cddgh.org/">Ghana Center for Democratic Development</a> supported the launch of an African network of parliamentary monitoring groups. At the launch event of this network, participants came from 17 African countries to discuss ways that the continent&rsquo;s PMOs can share knowledge, collaborate, and organize. </p><p>In addition to these regional networks, <a href="http://www.openingparliament.org/">OpeningParliament.org</a>, a global network of parliamentary monitoring organizations, continued to expand. More than 15 new organizations joined the network this year and <a href="http://www.openingparliament.org/organizations">total membership</a> has ballooned to nearly 200 groups in 90 countries. <a href="http://poplus.org/">Poplus</a>, a global federation of civic technologists, also continued to develop and refine open source technologies that could be used in parliamentary monitoring sites. Together, these global and regional networks can provide valuable support to domestic parliamentary monitoring groups, enhancing their capacity to monitor and advocate for greater transparency. </p><p><b><i>Looking forward to 2016</i></b></p><p>Building on the momentum established in 2015, the OGP <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">Legislative Openness Working Group</a> anticipates a productive 2016, with the development and implementation of even more legislative openness commitments. The group’s workplan for 2016 will be released shortly. Among other activities, the Working Group plans to both continue to support the creation of ambitious legislative openness commitments and help ensure that these commitments produce meaningful reform. The Working Group is also developing a legislative openness data explorer—which is scheduled to launch in early 2016—that houses detailed comparative information on parliamentary openness practices around the world.  </p><figure data-orig-height="330" class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/905c03e1d262cb0fc12de302c4425a7f/tumblr_inline_o0uxmkIshu1s1irqt_540.png" alt="image" width="550" height="330"/></figure><p><i>Screenshot of the forthcoming legislative openness data explorer, which will launch in early 2016.</i> </p><p><a href="http://www.openingparliament.org/">OpeningParliament.org</a> will also continue to grow and provide resources and networking opportunities to legislative monitors around the world. The network’s founding organizations have begun to discuss the next iteration in the network’s evolution, an exciting step that should serve to increase the network’s value. All are encouraged to keep their eyes on the OpeningParliament.org <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/">blog</a> for further updates and to join the <a href="https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/pmo-network">email list</a> to stay apprised of new developments in the global network of parliamentary monitoring organizations. </p><p> Significant gains were made in 2015, and 2016 is positioned to be a year of progress for legislative openness. While levels of public trust and confidence in the legislature may remain low, the exciting initiatives discussed above can help reverse this trend, supporting a stronger relationship between the public and their legislature.   <br/></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/137173919033http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/137173919033Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:30:00 -0500The Global Open Data Index 2015 is live – what is your country status?<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://okfn.org/about/team/#katelyn-rogers">Katelyn Rogers</a> and originally appeared on the <a href="http://blog.okfn.org/2015/12/09/the-global-open-data-index-2015-is-live-what-is-you-country-status/">Open Knowledge blog</a></i>. </p><p> We are excited to announce that we have published the third annual <a href="http://index.okfn.org/">Global Open Data Index</a>. This year’s Index showed impressive gains from non-OECD countries with Taiwan topping the Index and Colombia and Uruguay breaking into the top ten at four and seven respectively. Overall, the Index evaluated 122 places and 1586 datasets and determined that only 9%, or 156 datasets, were both technically and legally open. </p><p>The Index ranks countries based on the availability and accessibility of data in thirteen key categories, including government spending, election results, procurement, and pollution levels. Over the summer, we held a <a href="http://blog.okfn.org/2015/06/18/what-should-we-include-in-the-global-open-data-index-from-reference-data-to-civil-society-audit/">public consultation</a>, which saw contributions from individuals within the open data community as well as from key civil society organisations across an array of sectors. <a href="http://blog.okfn.org/2015/08/20/the-2015-global-open-data-index-is-around-the-corner-these-are-the-new-datasets-we-are-adding-to-it/">As a result of this consultation</a>, we expanded the 2015 Index to include public procurement data, water quality data, land ownership data and weather data; we also decided to removed transport timetables due to the difficulties faced when comparing transport system data globally. </p><p>Open Knowledge International began to systematically track the release of open data by national governments in 2013 with the objective of measuring if governments were releasing the key datasets of high social and democratic value as open data. That enables us to better understand the current state of play and in turn work with civil society actors to address the gaps in data release. Over the course of the last three years, the Global Open Data Index has become more than just a benchmark – we noticed that governments began to use the Index as a reference to inform their open data priorities and civil society actors began to use the Index advocacy tool to encourage governments to improve their performance in releasing key datasets.</p><p>Furthermore, indices such as the Global Open Data Index are not without their challenges. The Index measures the technical and legal openness of datasets deemed to be of critical democratic and social value – <b>it does not measure</b> the openness of a given government. It should be clear that the release of a few key datasets is not a sufficient measure of the openness of a government. The blurring of lines between open data and open government is nothing new and has been hotly debated by civil society groups and transparency organisations since the sharp rise in popularity of open data policies over the last decade.</p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://36.media.tumblr.com/edd6febbf7baf14fc9f4fc29bf4675d1/tumblr_inline_nz5ekaHm7u1s1irqt_540.png" data-orig-height="847" width="550" alt="image"/></figure><br/><!-- more --><p> While the goal of the Index has never been to measure the openness of governments, we have been working in collaborations with others to make the index more than just a benchmark of data release. This year, by collaborating with topical experts across an array of sectors, we were able to improve our dataset category definitions to ensure that we are measuring data that civil society groups require rather than simply the data that governments happen to be collecting. </p><p>Next year we will be doubling down on this effort to work in collaboration with topical experts to go beyond a “baseline” of reference datasets which are widely held to be important, to tracking the release of datasets deemed critical by the civil society groups working in a given field. This effort is both experimental and ambitious. Measuring open data is not trivial and we are keenly aware of the balance that needs to be struck between international comparability and local context and we will continue to work to get this balance right. Join us on the <a href="https://discuss.okfn.org/c/open-data-index/global-open-data-index-2015">Index forum</a> to join these future discussions.<br/></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/134922911418http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/134922911418Thu, 10 Dec 2015 10:29:10 -0500What’s new in DemTools 2.0?<p><i>This post was written by <a href="https://twitter.com/cdoten">Chris Doten</a> and originally appeared on NDI’s <a href="https://www.demworks.org/what-s-new-demtools-20">DemWorks blog</a>. </i></p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://36.media.tumblr.com/8ecab2533dcd79397d89b81dfb68e595/tumblr_inline_nyqkluH2Mw1s1irqt_540.png" height="338" width="550" alt="image"/></figure><br/><p><b>The <a href="http://ndi.org/">National Democratic Institute</a> is launching a new and improved version of <a href="https://dem.tools/">DemTools</a>, a technology toolkit for civil society and government</b>, on December 9 in Washington, D.C. We’ve put a lot of sweat, tears, and code (no blood so far) into this adventure and are ready to share it with the world. DemTools 2.0 upgrades and expands our existing set of tools, which was deployed by 82 organizations around the world in the last year.</p><p><a href="https://nditech.org/nditech.org/project/elections">Elections</a>, <a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/dkan">DKAN</a>,<a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/dkan"> </a><a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/fixmycommunity">FixMyCommunity</a>,<a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/fixmycommunity"> </a><a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/petitions">Petitions</a>,<a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/petitions"> </a><a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/issues">Issues</a>,<a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/issues"> </a><a href="https://www.nditech.org/project/fixmycommunity">Civi: </a>six innovative solutions to common problems for our partners in civil society and government are all wrapped up and ready to ship. We’ve made huge improvements to the original tools &ndash; Civi, Elections, and Issues &ndash; based on our experience deploying them with dozens of partners in the past year. We are also adding three powerful new systems &ndash; Petitions, DKAN, and FixMyCommunity. We’ve partnered with some of the best open-source developers in the world on DemTools 2.0, adapting and distributing code from <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/">mySociety</a>, <a href="http://www.nucivic.com/">NuCivic</a>, <a href="https://civicrm.org/">CiviCRM</a>, and even the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp">White House</a>! You can check out the raw source on <a href="https://github.com/nditech/">GitHub</a> if you’re interested in any of the nitty-gritty stuff.</p><p>Powerful new systems are useless if you don’t know how to use them. We’ve written reams of new documentation that can guide a civic group, political party or government institution through the basic steps of getting started, and how to effectively use DemTools to drive political change.</p><p>To open these tools up to as many people as possible, we’ve been working with translators, including NDI’s <a href="http://arabicpublicationscenter.org/">Arabic Publications Center</a>, to make them available in French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. We’ve worked hard to make the tools more accessible for people with disabilities and easy to read on inexpensive smartphones.</p><p>We’re having a major launch event to properly introduce DemTools 2.0 at the <a href="http://www.dcconvention.com/venues/carnegielibrary.aspx">Carnegie Library</a> in Washington, DC with NDI board member <a href="https://www.ndi.org/deanh">Howard Dean</a> as our keynote speaker. You can <a href="https://dem.tools/">RSVP here</a>. For friends who can’t make it to the event, but still want to catch the festivities, we will have a livestream. Be sure to jump into the conversation on Twitter by following <a href="https://twitter.com/demtools">@DemTools</a> and tweeting with <a href="https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&amp;q=%23demtools">#DemTools</a>, too!</p><p>It’s been a long, exciting journey and we’re nearly to the finish line in launching DemTools 2.0. We’re incredibly grateful to the excellent members of our team, our partners and supporters, and everyone who’s had a hand in making this vision become a reality. We hope to see you (or your tweets) on December 9th at the Carnegie Library!</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/134399594888http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/134399594888Wed, 02 Dec 2015 10:08:48 -0500How the 2015 OGP Global Summit changed the open government conversation<p>The 2015 Global Summit of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), held in Mexico City from October 28-29, represented a major step forward for the 69-country partnership. Whereas the OGP has typically focused on engagement between civil society and the executive branch, the Summit broadened its scope to include engagement with other parts of government. The event offered sessions on openness in the judiciary branch and marked the beginning of OGP “<a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/blog/nathaniel-heller-and-manish-bapna/2015/08/13/ogp-journey-go-subnational">going subnational</a>.”</p><p>Welcoming more than 50 members of parliament to the event, the Summit also saw the partnership’s <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/blog/daniel-swislow/2015/09/10/legislative-track-ogp-global-summit">first legislative track</a>.</p><p>Beginning at Civil Society Day on October 27, <a href="http://agenda.ge/news/45285/eng">voters awarded</a> the inaugural OGP Government Champions Award to the <a href="http://www.parliament.ge/en/saparlamento-saqmianoba/OGP/interfraqciuli-djgufis-wevrebi">Inter-Factional Group of the Parliament of Georgia,</a> represented by Hon. Tamar Kordzaia. The honor acknowledged their successful collaboration with civil society in drafting a legislative action plan. Working with parliaments, strengthening legislative transparency through technology, and the launch of a new book, <a href="http://www.tm.org.mx/open-parliaments-book/">Open Parliaments: Results and Expectations</a> by Transparencia Mexicana, were all covered during workshops that day.</p><figure data-orig-width="1024" data-orig-height="683" class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/9da2885c11dd054dca94cc231424168a/tumblr_inline_nyac5is7pV1rypylr_540.jpg" alt="image" data-orig-width="1024" data-orig-height="683" width="550"/></figure><p>During the Summit itself, the Legislative Openness Working Group, which supports legislative participation in OGP and is led by the Congress of Chile and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), organized a legislative track that included five key sessions.</p><p>NDI President Ken Wollack moderated a mainstage panel on the critical role of legislatures in the open government conversation. “Legislatures are vital in moving the open government agenda forward, by engaging political leaders across party lines and by strengthening the link between OGP, ordinary citizens, and their elected representatives,” remarked Mr. Wollack. “Legislatures also offer a mechanism to help promote continuity and sustained engagement by an OGP country, even when elections result in a change in government.”</p><p>“What we’ve been trying to achieve is to have a full membership of parliaments within OGP,” said Chilean Senator Hernán Larraín, who also participated on the panel. “For the next step of OGP, we need to include parliament in the structure—and all authorities that are elected: governors, mayors—because this will bring more strength in relations with the people and engagement with citizens.”</p><p>The executive director of <a href="http://www.fundar.org.mx/">Fundar Centro de Análisis e Investigación</a>, Haydeé Pérez, echoed the importance of openness to parliaments as they struggle to deepen public trust. “The most powerful way to retrieve trust and overcome this representation crisis is for parliaments to open up, to begin making bridges with citizens and to listen and talk to them.”</p><figure data-orig-width="3957" data-orig-height="1800" class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://40.media.tumblr.com/e994e58ba70183d6bf1338c350c75ab7/tumblr_inline_nyac98Qh961rypylr_540.jpg" alt="image" data-orig-width="3957" data-orig-height="1800" width="550"/></figure><p>With the help of the Legislative Openness Working Group, many countries have already begun involving the legislative branch on their own. More than <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ua7HcCbd69HDKqiz7FW2QKr5ExH4cTNmupuVROdBEeU/edit?usp=sharing">15 percent of commitments</a> made in government action plans involve legislative action. This includes commitments to change laws, such as developing a Whistleblower’s Law in Albania or passing a Right to Information Law in Ghana. It also includes commitments to revamp the legislative branch, with, for example, a pledge to offer new ways of releasing legislative data and calendars in the Netherlands, or a commitment to develop greater citizen participation in lawmaking in Indonesia.</p><p>Some countries have even taken it a step further. A <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/c1cd8777a67305eca33740a62c62c153">different panel</a> at the Summit, organized in partnership with UNDP, highlighted examples of countries that have authored separate legislative action plans. Beyond the successful Inter-Factional Group of the Parliament of Georgia, the Senate in Mexico joined an <a href="http://www.parlamentoabierto.mx/">Open Parliament Alliance</a> in 2014 with the intent (albeit, so far, slightly delayed) to draft an action plan with civil society. Chile’s Congress drafted an <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxe_XRmf65Q6NW9TdEVRSmtKWEU/view">action plan</a> in 2013 led by its Bicameral Commission on Transparency. In the week before the Global Summit, Costa Rica became the <a href="http://accesa.org/2015/10/20/directorio-legislativo-presenta-junto-con-alianza-por-una-asamblea-abierta-el-plan-de-acciones-prioritarias-para-la-apertura-legislativa/">latest country to launch a legislative action plan</a> as the National Assembly announced a partnership with civil society to accomplish specific commitments. At the Summit, the President of the National Assembly, Hon. Rafael Ortíz, and representatives from Costa Rican civil society organizations shared this plan with the OGP community.</p><p>Alongside the Global Summit, at events hosted by the Working Group with ParlAmericas and the Senate of Mexico, <a href="http://www.canaldelcongreso.gob.mx/vod/reproducir/0_96vgqu7t/Senadora_Marcela_Guerra._Red_de_Parlamento_Abierto._Di%3Flogo">members of parliament from more than 20 countries met</a> to discuss shared experiences in advancing openness and formally engaging with OGP. Among them, Hon. Souhail Alouini from Tunisia supported the idea of including more MPs on the OGP Steering Committee. President of the Pan African Parliament, H.E. Roger Nkodo Dang, endorsed the creation of opportunities within OGP for South-South sharing of legislative openness experiences. A network of MPs from Latin America, focused on parliamentary openness, also met at the margins of the Summit. These meetings were complemented by a <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/a143a13a290f778ceae635727f2bcb85">public panel</a> at the Summit which included several MPs, among them, Sen. Marcela Guerra, president of ParlAmericas and member of the Senate of Mexico, and Hon. Luis AIbérico, president of the Congress of Peru.</p><p>President Enrique Peña Nieto, OGP’s outgoing lead chair, had <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/98892853193/new-ogp-lead-chair-mexican-president-pe%C3%B1a-nieto">highlighted inclusion of the legislative branch</a> as a priority in 2014. We expect incoming government chairs of the OGP Steering Committee, South Africa and France, to carry this priority forward. Showing its dedication, the National Assembly of France was among the first OGP country parliaments to enact their own plan, <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/files/national-assembly%E2%80%99s-action-planpdf/download">Toward a National Assembly of the XXI Century</a>. In addition, Chilean Senator Larraín took part in OGP Steering Committee meetings at the Summit as the first official representative of the legislative branch since OGP was founded in 2011.</p><p>The Working Group’s 2016 Workplan, which will launch in January 2016, will compile all of the input collected during the Summit. Comments and suggestions for this plan can be submitted through <a href="http://opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">the Working Groups’s page</a> on OGP’s website.</p><p>The Working Group also continues to execute projects from its 2015 Workplan. At the Summit, a <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/61b2f52f6917ee046d766f6ec09a90c9">panel</a> launched the Working Group’s <a href="http://ow.ly/TMrW5">Common Ethical Principles for Members of Parliament</a>, an effort to create international benchmarks for moral and transparent behavior by individual MPs. Early next year we can expect the launch of a data explorer detailing the levels of transparency of legislatures around the world.</p><p>As OGP broadens its reach, the partnership will face a range of additional questions. How might OGP more formally integrate the legislative branch? What is the best process for reviewing open parliament action plans commitments and plans? How can we ensure civil society participation in these efforts moving forward? And what about political parties? The Working Group plans to wrestle with these critical issues in the coming year, especially at OGP’s next Steering Committee meeting in May.</p><p>Input from the OGP community as a whole in this process is vital. To provide comments or thoughts on how to proceed, please visit the Working Group’s website: <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative</a>.</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/133815143433http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/133815143433Mon, 16 Nov 2015 15:44:03 -0500OGPTune in! Legislative openness webinar Tuesday, Nov. 17<p>Don’t forget to join us next Tuesday, November 17 at 10:00 - 11:00 AM EST, for a webinar to explore legislative openness and the Open Government Partnership.</p><h1><b><a href="https://events-na4.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/833642795/en/events/event/private/877773861/1209689848/event_landing.html?sco-id=1274057428&amp;_charset_=utf-8">Click here to join the webinar</a>  </b></h1><br/><p>In 2015, the Open Government Partnership helped advance legislative openness around the world. As the <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/131709049308/8-sessions-you-shouldnt-miss-at-the-summit-open">robust legislative track</a> at the OGP Summit in Mexico indicated, significant progress has been made advancing legislative openness through OGP and more fully engaging legislatures in the process. During this webinar, one of the co-chairs of the <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">Open Government Partnership&rsquo;s Legislative Openness Working Group</a> will provide an update on work completed over the course of 2015 and will also discuss potential work to be completed in 2016. This webinar will also provide an opportunity to discuss the Working Group&rsquo;s work plan for 2016 and solicit input on what types of activities should be prioritized.</p><p>In addition, the Working Group will use this opportunity to highlight the work of the Parliament of Georgia, which has developed a <a href="https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://idfi.ge/public/upload/Open+Parliament+Georgia+Action+Plan+(2015-2016).pdf">legislative openness action plan</a> in conjunction with civil society organizations. The Parliament of Georgia also hosted the Legislative Openness Working Group <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/130696242423/legislative-openness-conference-in-georgia-brings">conference</a>, which brought together over 100 participants from more than 30 countries to discuss how OGP can be used to advance legislative openness. Representatives of the Parliament of Georgia and Georgian civil society will discuss their ongoing collaboration to advance openness, specifically mentioning good practices or lessons learned.</p><p><b>Presented By</b>: </p><p><i> </i></p><ul><li><b>Nino Beradze: </b><i>Director, Public Relations and Information Department, <a href="http://www.parliament.ge/en/">Parliament of Georgia</a></i></li><li><b>Giorgi Kldiashvili: </b><i>Director, <a href="https://idfi.ge/ge">Institute for Development of Freedom of Information</a>, Georgia</i></li><li><b>Scott Hubli: </b><i>Director of Governance Programs, <a href="https://www.ndi.org/">National Democratic Institute</a> </i></li></ul><p>The OGP Working Groups and webinar series encourage peer learning and knowledge sharing on critical open government issues among civil society, government, and legislative participants. OGP Webinars are sponsored by the <a href="http://wbi.worldbank.org/wbi/">World Bank Institute</a>.</p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/b5336343f769f39a5a9cd11f70db2692/tumblr_inline_nxnwsz3i771s1irqt_540.jpg" alt="image" width="550" height="50"/></figure>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/133011726808http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/133011726808Wed, 11 Nov 2015 12:53:22 -0500OGPOpenParl News Brief: November 5, 2015<p><i>It has been a busy few months for the global open parliament community! Below, we’ve compiled a collection of updates. With so much great work, we’re certain that we’ve missed some fantastic projects, initiatives, and events. As always, if you would like to see your work included in this News Brief, feel free to reach out to the site administrators on the <a href="http://www.openingparliament.org/contact">contact page</a>.</i></p><hr><p><b>In case you missed it, Global Legislative Openness Week was a success around the world. More information can be found at <a href="http://openparlweek.org/">OpenParlWeek.org</a>, but highlights include: </b></p><ul><li> The Parliament of Georgia, the <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">Legislative Openness Working Group</a>, and a collection of local and international organizations organized a global legislative openness conference, entitled Committing to Openness: Parliamentary Action Plans, Standards, and Tools. The conference featured over 100 legislators, legislative staff, and civil society representatives from more than 30 countries who shared experiences advancing legislative openness and explored ways in which OGP can be most effectively leveraged to advance public access to legislative information and processes. </li><li> Around the world, <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/">mySociety</a> led a crowdsourcing campaign to collect structured, reusable data on politicians in 201 countries. This information is now public and available on their <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/2015/09/15/everypolitician-200-countries-and-counting/">website</a>. </li><li> The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies launched a collection of new <a href="http://www2.camara.leg.br/transparencia/camara-aberta">tech platforms</a> to foster citizen engagement in the legislative process. To celebrate GLOW, the Chamber launched these new open source services for use outside Brazil. </li><li> In Taiwan, <a href="http://www.ccw.org.tw/node/16868">Citizen Congress Watch (TWN)</a> organized the 2015 International Conference on Congressional Reform and Watch, introduced for the first time in Taipei. Topics of discussion included best practices and experience sharing on congressional oversight and promoting transparency and reform in Congress. More information about the conference can be seen <a href="http://www.ccw.org.tw/p/22254">here</a>.</li><li><a href="http://dk.okfn.org/">Open Knowledge Danmark</a>, <a href="http://www.gennemsigt.dk/">Foreningen Gennemsigt</a>, and the <a href="http://cvap.polsci.ku.dk/english">Centre for Voting and Parties</a> hosted an <a href="http://dk.okfn.org/2015/09/02/hvordan-bruges-folketingets-data/">event</a> on open parliamentary data in Denmark. The event, which was live streamed using Periscope, featured discussion of how best to make use of parliamentary data, how to turn it into usable information, and how to make it accessible to a broader audience. </li></ul><p><b>News from the parliamentary monitoring community:</b></p><p>In <b>Mexico</b>, from Oct 27-29, the <a href="http://ogpsummit.org/">Open Government Partnership’s Global Summit</a> convened over 1500 open government advocates from civil society, government, and parliament. Speakers and participants shared experiences from their respective countries and provided real examples of how openness can improve public services, drive economic growth, reduce poverty and make governments more accountable to the people they serve. For the first time, the OGP Summit featured a “track” on legislative openness, which included a number of interesting sessions and a dedicated side meeting for MPs. A blog post sharing more information on the Summit will be posted shortly. </p><p>In <b>Argentina</b>, the government made strides forward in opening access to public information when the Chamber of Appeals <a href="https://madmimi.com/p/4af5c6?fe=1&amp;pact=33666940134">ruled in favor</a> of <a href="https://madmimi.com/p/4af5c6?fe=1&amp;pact=33666940134">Poder Ciudadano</a>, <a href="http://www.directoriolegislativo.org/">Fundación Directorio Legislativo</a>, and other groups in their request to access administrative decisions made by the Chamber of Deputies. This ruling requires the Chamber to make the results of administrative decisions public by publishing them on its website.</p><p>In <b>Kenya</b>, <a href="http://info.mzalendo.com/">Mzalendo</a> conducted a <a href="http://info.mzalendo.com/women/">comprehensive assessment</a> of the contributions that women MPs made to the work of Kenya’s 11th parliament. In addition to a formal <a href="http://info.mzalendo.com/media_root/file_archive/Debunking_Myths_on_Women_MPs_report.pdf">report</a>, Mzalendo also published an <a href="http://info.mzalendo.com/media_root/file_archive/WP-Contributions_11th_Parliament.pdf">infographic</a>, which includes a word cloud on issues women MPs most commonly discussed in parliament. </p><!-- more --><p>In <b>Georgia</b>, <a href="http://www.transparency.ge/en">Transparency International Georgia</a> revealed a new methodology to assess the degree to which a parliament adheres to the principles of the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness. The methodology will first be applied to the Parliament of Georgia, though will be published for other groups to reuse.</p><p>In <b>Costa Rica</b>, <a href="http://accesa.org/">ACCESSA</a> and a coalition of parliamentary monitoring organizations worked with the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica to develop an <a href="http://accesa.org/2015/10/20/directorio-legislativo-presenta-junto-con-alianza-por-una-asamblea-abierta-el-plan-de-acciones-prioritarias-para-la-apertura-legislativa/">action plan</a> on legislative openness. Among other commitments, the plan calls for the Assembly to develop a dedicated web portal for legislative information, hold a hackathon to explore tools that could be built with legislative data, and expand coverage of legislative activities on radio and television. </p><p>In the <b>US</b>, the <a href="http://sunlightfoundation.com/">Sunlight Foundation</a> released the newest draft of the <a href="http://moneypoliticstransparency.org/declaration">Declaration on Political Finance Openness</a>, which provides an affirmative vision for an open political finance system. The Declaration is meant to be a work in progress as the Sunlight Foundation seeks continued input, and the document remains <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rHz3yfPh42LzzcEhcCNvQXvbVNon_Rc6ujnv6YabtaI/edit#heading=h.gjdgxs">open for comment</a> on their website. Moving forward, the Sunlight Foundation seeks to conduct continued outreach to stakeholders before the final document is launched with endorsements by the end of the year.</p><p>In <b>Ghana</b>, <a href="http://penplusbytes.net/">Penplusbytes</a> supported the parliament’s <a href="http://www.parliament.gh/committees/31">Committee on Government Assurances</a> in organizing a series of <a href="http://penplusbytes.net/assurance-committee-of-parliament-embark-on-citizen-engagement-roadshow/">one-day forums</a> in different cities across the country to provide the public and key stakeholders with the opportunity to engage with members of the committee. The “citizen engagement roadshow” has stopped in Ho, Tamale, and Twifo. </p><p>In <b>Guatemala</b>, <a href="http://congresotransparente.org/">Congreso Transparente</a>, hosted a <a href="https://events-na4.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/833642795/en/events/event/private/877773861/1209689848/event_landing.html?sco-id=1263682165&amp;_charset_=utf-8">webinar</a> on access to open data and tech tools for journalists on October 14. The event featured speakers from Costa Rica, Peru and Spain who spoke about their experiences. </p><p>In <b>Bangladesh</b>, with the aim of improving government transparency, <a href="http://en.shujan.org/about-2/">Shujan</a> (Citizens for Good Governance), created <a href="http://www.votebd.org/">VoteBD</a>. VoteBD gathers and publishes information on Bangladeshi politicians and electoral candidates. The tool is the first of its kind in Bangladesh to make voter registration records <a href="http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2015/09/14/opengov-voices-increasing-transparency-in-bangladesh-with-votedb-and-shorob/">public</a>. </p><p><b>Other related news: </b></p><p>Congratulations to the <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/blog/shreya-basu/2015/10/01/winners-idrc-grants-research-ogp-announced-0#sthash.j1cax0yO.dpuf">six winners</a> of the IDRC grants for research on OGP! The grant is intended to mobilize the global community to deepen understanding of OGP and its potential impact. Keep your eyes peeled for the final research products. </p><p>The US Congress hosted its <a href="https://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2015/10/27/in-hackwetrust-sunlight-labs-at-the-2015-congressional-hackathon/">second congressional hackathon</a>. According to the Sunlight Foundation, the hackathon hosted over 200 programmers, policy experts, congressional staffers and legislators to tackle legislative openness issues. The hackathon strove to analyze best ways to organize, share and disseminate newly available data, build new avenues for constituent participation, and organize institutional knowledge.</p><p>On the 3rd, 17th and 24th of October, <a href="http://ciudadanointeligente.org/">Ciudadano Inteligente</a>, in conjunction with a number of academic partners, held the second conference on Developing Latin America. The conference convened diverse teams of developers, designers, journalists, entrepreneurs to find innovative technological solutions to public problems in Latin America. </p><p>In Tanzania, <a href="http://www.twaweza.org/">Twaweza</a> recently released a <a href="http://www.twaweza.org/go/sauti-political-poll-2015">brief</a> entitled <a href="http://www.twaweza.org/go/sauti-political-poll-2015">Let the people speak: Citizens’ views on political leadership</a>. The brief, which uses data from <a href="http://www.twaweza.org/go/sauti-za-wananchi-english">Sauti za Wananchi</a>, Africa’s first nationally representative mobile phone survey, gathered data on political party preferences and other political considerations in the lead-up to the country’s national election. </p><p>Recently, 70 key members of the open government community traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa for <a href="http://www.buntwani.org/">Buntwani 2015</a>. This year, Buntwani aimed to discuss the <a href="http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2015/09/10/lessons-from-buntwani-the-next-step-in-empowering-citizens-with-technology/">use of technology</a> in creating accountable governments and empowered citizens. Organizers intended to use the regional workshop to serve as a “platform for reflection, analysis and candid dialogue&quot; for ideas surrounding this topic. </p><p><b>Resources:</b></p><p><a href="https://okfn.org/">Open Knowledge Foundation</a> created a <a href="http://blog.okfn.org/2015/09/06/event-guide-2015-open-data-index/">guide to event planning</a> for events centered around the Open Data Index. The manual seeks to provide guidance for those interested in hosting public events in the spirit of expanding knowledge of open data in their communities.</p><p>A group of open data activists produced the world’s first short film about open data, open government and open source. The film can be seen <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7uuLp5FpJA">here</a>.</p><p><b>Upcoming events:</b></p><p>The World Forum for Democracy will host its<a href="http://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/home"> annual program</a> this year in Strasbourg on the 18-20 of November, entitled “Freedom vs. Control: For a Democratic Response”.<br/></p><p><a href="http://www.un.org/en/events/anticorruptionday/">International Anti-Corruption Day</a> will take place on Wednesday, December 9. </p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/132606564698http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/132606564698Thu, 05 Nov 2015 11:30:02 -0500BangladeshGuatemalaUnited StatesGhanaCosta RicaGeorgiaKenyaArgentinaMexicoUKBrazilTaiwanUSHow much is decided in Brussels? Open parliamentary data provides an answer!<p>Last year, the British media <a href="https://fullfact.org/europe/eu_make_uk_law-29587"><b>debated</b></a> an interesting question of how changes to national law are affected by decisions taken at the EU level after Viviane Reding, a former EU commissioner, put forward that it could be as much as 70%.</p> <p>This struck me as very interesting so I decided to take a look at how much it could be in my country, Czech Republic. The <a href="http://www.psp.cz/sqw/hp.sqw?akk=3"><b>lower chamber</b></a> of the parliament keeps excellent track of which bills are tied to the EU. This information is available as <a href="http://www.psp.cz/sqw/hp.sqw?k=1300"><b>open data</b></a>. It is therefore relatively easy to retrieve and analyse bills in bulk to gain valuable insight into the legislative process.</p> <p>European institutions do not directly dictate the law. In most cases, only an outline of required changes is approved at the European level and individual member states are more or less free to decide on details. I took a look at all bills proposed since 2004 when the country entered the EU.</p> <p>It turns out that about 30% of all bills transpose the European legislation into the national law. These bills are introduced by the government (as opposed to MPs who can also introduce bills) and constitute about 50% of government legislative activity. This is more or less constant over time – even Eurosceptic government in 2006-2010 proposed these &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; about as much as other governments.</p><p>Once introduced, the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; are much more likely to successfully complete the legislative process. A chart below shows shares of bills according to their status in various electoral terms. In the past terms (2002-2013), all bills that were &ldquo;not approved&rdquo; are considered rejected. In the current term, the &ldquo;not approved&rdquo; bills can still complete the legislative process.</p> <p><iframe src="http://kohovolit.eu/wp/kamil/eurozakony/eurozakony_01_en.html" width="550" height="450" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <!-- more --> <p>A large difference in success rates of the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; and other bills is partially caused by the fact that other bills include bills introduced by MPs which are less likely to be approved. However, the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; are more successful even in a group of government-sponsored bills, although the difference is smaller. The chart also shows that a number and the success rate of the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; remains relatively stable over time.</p><p>When we look at the successful bills, it turns out that duration of the legislative process is about the same in the group of the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; and other bills, as evidenced by a chart below.</p> <p><iframe src="http://kohovolit.eu/wp/kamil/eurozakony/eurozakony_02_en.html" width="550" height="450" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>An important question is what these &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; are actually about. Open parliamentary data allows me to find an answer relatively easily. Each bill is accompanied by several descriptors (e.g. <a href="http://www.psp.cz/sqw/historie.sqw?o=7&amp;T=42"><b>here</b></a> at the bottom of the page) that correspond to policy areas or topics covered by the bills. I can therefore compare frequency of the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; and other bills related to individual descriptors.</p><p>A chart below shows topics with the highest share of the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; out of all approved bills since 2002. Apart from specifically EU-related policies, EU influences e.g. environmental protection or financial regulation. A table with all descriptors is available <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19u9jc9QQfoFAYKd-pKB_QU5kyicioHBq0Gjdbh9GldI/pubhtml?gid=0&amp;single=true"><b>here</b></a> (in Czech).</p> <p><iframe src="http://kohovolit.eu/wp/kamil/eurozakony/eurozakony_03_en.html" width="550" height="450" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>A chart below shows topics with the lowest share of the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo;. These are policy areas where the impact of the EU legislation is relatively small. They are dominated mainly by changes of the political system (e.g. local autonomy, the Constitution, elections).</p> <p><iframe src="http://kohovolit.eu/wp/kamil/eurozakony/eurozakony_04_en.html" width="550" height="450" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>The last interesting question is how these &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; are pushed in the parliament. Are there any differences in parliamentary voting of MPs about the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; when compared to other bills? To answer this question I use the principal component analysis described in detail in <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/118939703591/its-pretty-and-it-moves-or-how-to-visualize"><b>this article</b></a>.</p> <p>It returns a scatterplot below where each point corresponds to one MP. The smaller the distance between any two points in the plot, the more frequently the corresponding legislators voted exactly the same way. Two legislators that vote the same way every time would occupy exactly the same spot in the chart. And conversely two legislators that vote the opposite ways every time (e.g. the first in favour and the second against) would be very distant from each other.</p> <p><iframe src="http://kohovolit.eu/wp/kamil/eurozakony/eurozakony_wpca_7_en/index.html" width="550" height="550" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>Each MP is actually represented by two points: opaque points correspond to voting behavior during votes on the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; and transparent points correspond to voting behavior during votes on other bills. If opaque and transparent points representing MPs of the same party occupy similar positions in the scatterplot, the MPs actually voted similarly on both types of legislation.</p> <p>There are almost no differences in voting patterns of the current government MPs (orange, gold and cyan points) – they supported the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo; as often as other bills. There are some differences among the opposition. Particularly the Communist MPs (red) voted more often with the government on the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo;, their opaque points are thus closer to the governmental MPs than their transparent points.</p><p>The opposite is true about the other oppositional parties (blue, violet, green) – they voted more often with the government on other bills than on the &ldquo;eurobills&rdquo;. The difference is, however, only small. This is surprising given that e.g. ODS (blue) is a Eurosceptic party while TOP 09 (violet) is relatively much more pro-EU. However, this difference is not translated into voting in the Parliament.</p> <hr><p><i><a href="https://twitter.com/kamilgregor"><b>Kamil Gregor</b></a> is a data analyst with <a href="http://kohovolit.eu/en/"><b>KohoVolit.eu</b></a> and <a href="http://www.muni.cz/?lang=en"><b>Masaryk University</b></a> in Brno, Czech Republic.</i></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/132413331518http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/132413331518Mon, 02 Nov 2015 12:02:15 -0500EuropeCzech Republic8 Sessions You Shouldn't Miss at the Summit: Open Parliaments Come to OGP!<p>On behalf of the Open Government Partnership (OGP)&rsquo;s Legislative Openness Working Group, we are excited to share further information about the legislative openness events taking place at the <a href="http://www.ogpsummit.org">OGP Global Summit</a> next week in Mexico City.<b><br/></b></p><p>For open government initiatives to be sustained over the long-term, they require support from across the political spectrum, so that interest in open government doesn&rsquo;t fluctuate when administrations change. Open government also requires legislative support to achieve legal reforms and allocate budgetary resources to implement open government initiatives. </p><p>As <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/blog/daniel-swislow/2015/09/10/legislative-track-ogp-global-summit">announced previously</a>, this year&rsquo;s Summit will include a track dedicated to legislative openness, a first for OGP. Nearly a dozen speakers of parliaments or deputy speakers from different countries have confirmed their attendance, and we expect to welcome MPs from more than 25 countries to the event. We welcome all participants to join us at legislative openness sessions to collaborate with all of the legislators in attendance. </p><p><b>Headlining the legislative track will be a session at the Summit’s main stage on October 28 at 4:00 PM entitled, &ldquo;<a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/025a8d23d01f34afa1a81af2ca36c351">Engaging Legislatures More Deeply in OGP: Recent Developments</a>.&rdquo;</b> <b>[1]</b> The panel will be hosted by Senator Roberto Gil Zuarth, President of the Senate of Mexico, and will include the chairs of the Legislative Openness Working Group—Senator Hernán Larraín from Chile and Ken Wollack, president of NDI—as well as Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, who represents South Africa as co-chair of the OGP Steering Committee. Additional guests at the main stage session will include Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, president of the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Gordana Comic, deputy speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia, Haydeé Perez, executive director of <a href="http://fundar.org.mx/">Fundar</a>, and Vukosava Crnjanski, founder of <a href="http://www.crta.rs/">CRTA</a>. </p><figure data-orig-width="1080" data-orig-height="236" class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://40.media.tumblr.com/7edd0db2ee8d2d9a01e82340d96e5b71/tumblr_inline_nwncd4Fd7g1rypylr_540.png" alt="image" data-orig-width="1080" data-orig-height="236" width="550"/></figure><p><br/></p><p>In the past two years, the Legislative Openness Working Group has worked with partners in the majority of OGP member countries to help the Partnership better include the legislative branch. We have made incredible progress, seeing legislative action plans developed in countries like <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative/resources">Chile</a>, <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/france/action-plan">France</a>, and <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/georgia/action-plan">Georgia</a>, and strong legislative commitments included in government action plans like in <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/ghana/action-plan">Ghana</a>. Additional legislatures, including Serbia, Mexico and Costa Rica, have created or are currently creating partnerships with civil society to pursue reform agendas. At the Summit, please join us for a session organized by UNDP on <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/c1cd8777a67305eca33740a62c62c153">creating legislative action plans</a>, with examples from four of these countries. <b>[2]</b></p><p>When Chile was welcomed to the OGP Steering Committee last month, they decided to be represented by both executive and legislative branch officials—the first chance for an MP to be included on the OGP Steering Committee. This offers us an important opportunity to find ways to further include the legislative branch in the broader open government conversation led by OGP. The discussion on legislative engagement in OGP will continue with a session on <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/5a9adc30ab57426df69e70aa8c34a1de">Strengthening Civil Society and Parliamentary Networks to Open Parliaments</a>. <b>[3] </b>The past two years have seen a number of networks formed among CSOs in different regions, and their collective advocacy, often together with parliamentary champions, is changing the landscape of open government reform. Come see why. </p><p>Building on the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness, the Legislative Openness Working Group has developed a set of <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByP1nXAlz_meM09SNGI5alFhSjQ/view?usp=sharing">Common Ethical Principles for MPs</a>, which will be <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/61b2f52f6917ee046d766f6ec09a90c9#.VilDR36rSUk">launched</a> at the Summit. <b>[4] </b>The Common Principles were recently endorsed by the the Global Organization for Parliamentarians Against Corruption. Latin America has been at the forefront on issues of legislative openness, and has recently seen the creation of a parliamentary network on these issues, the <i>Red de Parlamento Abierto</i>, supported by <a href="http://www.parlamericas.org/">ParlAmericas</a>. Organized in cooperation with OAS and ParlAmericas, join us for a session on <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/event/a143a13a290f778ceae635727f2bcb85">regional efforts to advance parliamentary openness in the Americas</a>, with MPs from six countries sharing the stage to discuss regional developments. <b>[5]</b> </p><p>Last but certainly not least, on the afternoon of Civil Society Day, October 27, Fundar and Transparencia Mexicana have helped to organized <a href="http://csoday2015.sched.org/tag/Legislative+Openness">three different events on legislative openness</a>, including the launch of a new book entitled, &ldquo;Open Parliament.&rdquo; <b>[6,7,8]</b></p><p>You can view a full schedule of <a href="http://ogpsummit2015.sched.org/overview/type/open+parliament?iframe=no&amp;w=&amp;sidebar=yes&amp;bg=no">legislative openness sessions</a> on the official Summit agenda at: <a href="http://www.ogpsummit.org/">www.ogpsummit.org</a>. All sessions are intended to be interactive and inclusive and we hope that many of you will be able to attend and participate. </p><p>Please join us as we carry forward this conversation at the Global Summit and beyond. If you don&rsquo;t get a chance to voice your opinion in these sessions, please get in touch with the Working Group directly and <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">follow our website</a> for updates.</p><p>See you in Mexico City!</p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/131709049308http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/131709049308Thu, 22 Oct 2015 18:10:05 -0400OGPLegislative openness conference in Georgia brings together delegates from over 30 countries<p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://40.media.tumblr.com/245a049ec497154032cfdae797a28af7/tumblr_inline_nvv3w0XhcY1s1irqt_540.png" width="550" height="246" alt="image"/></figure><i><small>Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, H.E. David Usupashvili, and other organizing partners open the conference.Video of the opening session can be seen <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCvMKXC5JL4&amp;list=PLqTXegRvY_J9hmMz8HgDtSNf-XvSapJV5">here</a>. </small></i></p><p>On September 14-15, the Parliament of Georgia hosted a global meeting of the <a href="http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/legislative">Open Government Partnership’s Legislative Openness Working Group</a>, a gathering that brought together over 75 parliamentary and civil society delegates from more than 30 countries. The conference, entitled Committing to Openness: Parliamentary Action Plans, Standards, and Tools, explored actionable strategies for advancing transparency and citizen participation in the legislative process. Along with the Parliament and the Working Group, which is co-chaired by the Congress of Chile and the <a href="http://ndi.org">National Democratic Institute</a>, the event was supported by <a href="http://www.undp.org/">UNDP</a>, <a href="https://www.usaid.gov/">USAID</a>, <a href="https://www.giz.de/en/html/index.html">GIZ</a>, <a href="http://www.transparency.ge/en">Transparency International Georgia</a>, <a href="https://idfi.ge/ge">Institute for Development of Freedom of Information</a>, <a href="http://kohovolit.eu/">KohoVolit</a>, and many others. All conference sessions can be viewed <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCvMKXC5JL4&amp;list=PLqTXegRvY_J9hmMz8HgDtSNf-XvSapJV5">here</a> and photos from the conference can be seen <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoparliament">here</a>.</p><p>During her remarks, South African Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Co-Chair of the OGP Steering Committee stated that “the act of opening up the legislature is essential for any democracy and is crucial for its proper functioning.” Legislative openness is a critical component of effective representative democracy. Meaningful public engagement and participation in the legislative process can only exist when the public understands the legislative process and has access to the necessary information. Beyond its own openness, parliaments also play a key role in advancing openness throughout the government via legislation, oversight, and representation.</p><p>The conference in Tbilisi indicated that there is growing interest from both parliaments and civil society groups in advancing legislative openness and developing new approaches for achieving openness in our tech-empowered world. The conference provided participants with comparative examples and successful strategies for increasing parliamentary openness.</p><br/><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://40.media.tumblr.com/c1976a2e98aa9e85f08a05fe6a53c745/tumblr_inline_nvv4c19FiQ1s1irqt_540.jpg" width="550" height="366" alt="image"/></figure><p><i><small>Members of parliament from Lithuania, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, and Georgia share updates on their legislative openness work. Moderated by Former US Congressman Les AuCoin, video of the session can be seen <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebym2QA6l-o">here</a></small></i><!-- more --></p><p>One approach to openness reform that was discussed extensively is the development of legislative openness action plans. While many parliaments have participated in the Open Government Partnership process by including legislative openness commitments in the government&rsquo;s National Action Plan, a growing number of legislatures have developed independent openness action plans. These plans, which have been developed in Georgia, Chile, and France, are typically drafted in close consultation with civil society and often draw inspiration and guidance from international standards, such as the <a href="http://www.openingparliament.org/declaration">Declaration on Parliamentary Openness</a>. This approach continues to gain traction, and several conference participants indicated interested in using this approach to drive openness reform in their home legislature. (There will be a sessions at the <a href="http://ogpsummit.org/">OGP Global Summit</a> that further explores this topic, organized by the Working Group and UNDP. View it <a href="http://sched.co/4QCF">here</a>.)</p><p>The importance of technology was also discussed during several conference sessions. In his opening remarks, Speaker Usupashvili stated that “in the 21st century, it is necessary to have innovative approaches to the fundamental principles of democracy.” While legislative openness does not require technological innovation, it is increasingly true that citizens expect to access parliamentary information and engage with their elected representatives online. To meet these expectations, and to modernize the institution for an increasingly wired world, parliaments stand to benefit from the development of new technologies. That being said, parliaments can be slow to modernize and often struggle with limited tech skill and capacity. Civil society groups, on the other hand, are often tech-savvy and can support legislatures by demonstrating what can be achieved.</p><br/><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/cae1751d11658e865b2e4198a01d38da/tumblr_inline_nvv4d2laAb1s1irqt_540.jpg" width="550" height="367" alt="image"/></figure><p><i><small>Civil society representatives kicked off the second day of the conference by presenting legislative openness technology tools, and discussing concepts like open data. Video of the session can be seen <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlohgXil7Hw">here.</a></small></i></p><p>Whether discussing technology, action plans, or other approaches to openness reform, a primary theme of the conference was the importance of collaboration between parliament and civil society. As countless speakers and conference participants noted, collaboration can produce stronger action plans, better technology, and more effective reforms. In discussing the parliament’s website, Liia Hanni, a former member of the Estonian Parliament who is currently with the <a href="http://www.ega.ee/">e-Governance Academy</a>, stated that “ICT tools should be prepared cooperatively with the future users of these tools.” This sentiment extends beyond technology, of course: any reform initiatives or projects that are designed to increase openness should be carried out collaboratively with civic groups and members of the public, who are primary “users” of legislative information.</p><p>Congratulations to the Parliament of Georgia and all other organizing partners for such a fantastic event. We look forward to continuing the conversations started in Tbilisi at the upcoming <a href="http://ogpsummit.org/">OGP Global Summit</a> and beyond.</p><hr><p><i>Interested in participating? The Working Group is currently planning the legislative openness track at the <a href="http://ogpsummit.org/">OGP Global Summit</a> in Mexico City on October 27-29. For more information on this event, <a href="http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/128295859088/a-legislative-track-at-the-ogp-global-summit">see this blog post</a>.</i></p>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/130696242423http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/130696242423Wed, 07 Oct 2015 14:36:28 -0400GeorgiaMexicoA growing community of global #CrowdLaw practitioners<p><i>This post was written by <a href="http://thegovlab.org/author/maria-hermosilla/">Maria Hermosilla</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/JuliaRoot">Julia Root</a> and originally appeared on <a href="http://thegovlab.org/a-growing-community-of-global-crowdlaw-practitioners/">The GovLab’s blog</a>. </i></p><figure class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://40.media.tumblr.com/fc360447351829f815c247aaeb9bb261/tumblr_inline_nvtaroPnaz1s1irqt_540.png" height="313" width="550" alt="image"/></figure><p><br/>On September 24th, <a href="http://thegovlab.org/">The GovLab</a> held its third online global conference on #CrowdLaw. Practitioners from 16 countries discussed the challenges and lessons learned when crowdsourcing legislation and constitutions. The session including lightning talks by practitioners with projects from Austria, Brazil, Chile, Finland, United States, Morocco, Libya and Spain and then a broader group discussion on three themes:</p><ul><li>Outreach strategies</li><li>Designing to overcome barriers; and</li><li>Measuring impact.</li></ul><p>The goal of the conference was to deepen our collective understanding of what works, what doesn’t, how to assess impact, and accelerate the implementation of more effective and legitimate participatory lawmaking practices. </p><p>The full video is available <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y385nEU0qlw&amp;feature=youtu.be">here</a>. Featured speakers and projects included:</p><ul><li>PODEMOS, SPAIN – <a href="http://rcc.harvard.edu/people/vict%C3%B2ria-alsina-burgu%C3%A9s">Victoria Alsina</a>, visiting researcher at Harvard, is working with 5 leading politicians of the Spanish political party <a href="http://podemos.info/">Podemos</a> to research how they are using technology to increase citizen participation in politics from voting every four years to a more day to day basis. She discussed two tools: the <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/podemos/">Plaza Podemos</a>, that is based on Reddit and is a place of contact and debate for their followers, organized by thematic and territorial circles. It is used regularly by 15,000 people. They also use <a href="http://www.appgree.com/">Appgree</a>for massive brainstorm sessions and doing quick surveys and for approving proposals. They have had up to 60,000 participants voting on Appgree.</li></ul><ul><li>NEOS, AUSTRIA – <a href="https://twitter.com/joseflentsch?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Josef Lentsch</a>, Managing Director of <a href="https://lab.neos.eu/">Neos Lab</a> and <a href="http://www.arlamovsky.at/">Karl-Arthur Arlamovsky</a> from Austrian political party NEOS discussed the tools they are using to implement their vision of making politics more open and participatory. Thematic groups at a local, regional and national level composed by thousand of volunteer policy advisors draft policy proposals on “<a href="https://www.themenschmiede.eu/">Policy Forge</a>”, a customized collaborative drafting platform. <a href="https://neos.eu/neos-english/">Neos</a> has a <a href="https://lab.neos.eu/tg-cockpit/">cockpit</a> composed of tools such as a calendar, customer relation management system, wiki, meeting software, among others.</li></ul><!-- more --><ul><li>FINLAND OPEN MINISTRY – <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/pekkanen">Joonas Pekkanen</a>, Founder of<a href="https://www.avoinministerio.fi/"> Avoin Ministeriö</a> – presented the Finnish civil society organization <a href="https://www.avoinministerio.fi/">Open Ministry</a>. Since 2012 it is a constitutional right for citizens to propose legislation and the Open Ministry project provides assistance to citizens or civil society organizations that want to crowdsource these proposals. They have been testing out different ad-hoc tools for crowdsourcing the law proposals. 13 proposals have reached the 50,000 threshold of support to merit a process in parliament and Open Ministry has been involved in six of them. Only one initiative has been approved by congress.LEGISLATION LAB – <a href="https://twitter.com/tarikn">Tarik Nesh-Nash</a>, co-founder of <a href="http://govright.org/">GovRight</a>, discussed <a href="http://legislationlab.org/en/">LegislationLab</a>, a platform for citizen participation in the legislative process that was initially used in Morocco in 2011 to crowdsource the draft constitution. They received 10,000 comments and 40% of them are reflected in the new constitution. The platform now supports 9 languages and is being used in <a href="http://laconstituciondetodos.cl/">Chile</a> and in the <a href="http://govright.org/debating-the-draft-kurdish-constitution/">Kurdistan region of Iraq</a>.</li></ul><ul><li>LIBYAN CONSTITUTIONAL CROWDSOURCING – <a href="https://twitter.com/Sxean">Sean Deely</a>, Senior Planning Advisor for the Syria Crisis Response with the UN in Amman – and formerly a Senior Recovery Advisor for the United Nations in Libya –  presented a series of civic engagement initiatives and an e-participation platform (Icon Libya) used during Libya’s constitutional reform and leading up to the 2014 election constitutional reform. Icon Libya was designed in consultation with GovRight’s <a href="http://legislationlab.org/en/">Legislation Lab</a>.</li></ul><ul><li>CHILEAN CONSTITUTIONAL CROWDSOURCING – Daniela Hirsch, lawyer from Chile presented <a href="http://laconstituciondetodos.cl/">La Constitución de Todos</a> (<i>Everyone’s Constitution</i>), a volunteer run project that through the Legislation Lab Platform is enabling the crowd to participate in a public debate about reforming Chile’s constitution. The organization’s goals for the three-month-old project are to generate a space for the public to participate in reforming the constitution; and to offer civic education through the platform to strengthen citizens’ understanding of the political process.</li></ul><ul><li>NYC PARTICIPATORY LAWMAKING – <a href="http://benkallos.com/">Ben Kallos</a>, 5th District Councilmember for the City of New York, is leading the way in New York City on government 2.0: interacting with citizens using tech and social media and employing tools such as <a href="http://benkallos.com/legislation">Drupal</a>, <a href="https://mymadison.io/docs/free-and-open-source-software-preferences-act-">Madison</a>, <a href="http://nyc.legislationlab.org/en/law/anti-tenant-black-list:anti-tenant-black-list/">LegislationLab</a>, calendar and scheduling apps to enable constituents to contribute, comment and engage with him <i>in addition to </i>traditional government 1.0 events, such as in-person meetings, town halls and open houses.</li></ul><ul><li>E-DEMOCRACIA, BRAZIL – <a href="https://twitter.com/CristianoFaria">Cristiano Ferri Faria</a>, head of the Labhacker of the Brazilian House of Representatives which functions as a hybrid body that engages primarily with public officials but also CSOs, discussed the <a href="http://edemocracia.camara.gov.br/">e-Democracia Project</a>. The platform and mobile phone app offer collaboration, crowdsourcing and video tools for members of congress to lead and listen to online conversations. The platform also uses live chat during hearings to crowdsource opinions and facts during a legislative hearing process. A<a href="http://wikilegis.labhackercd.net/"> wiki tool</a> for crowdsourcing legislation was successfully used for an internet regulations law where specific contributions from the crowd were written into the final bill.</li></ul><ul><li>PLATAFORMA BRASIL – <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronaldo_Lemos">Ronaldo Lemos</a>, Director of the <a href="http://itsrio.org/">Institute for Technology &amp; Society of Rio de Janeiro</a> discussed <a href="https://plataformabrasil.org.br/?/">Plataforma Brasil</a>, a platform for multistakeholder policymaking. It was first put to use over 7 years ago for the “Marco Civil” or Constitution for the Internet. Now with a refined set of tools and methodology, the Institute deployed a pilot to discuss political reform in Brazil with the goal of breaking down a complex subject into piecemeal parts. With the crowd’s input and over 35,000 votes on the topic of polical reform in Brazil, 5 topics were then framed for deeper exploration. The platform then transformed these 5 topics into questions for further engagement with citizens. A second pilot on Public Safety will commence in October 2015.</li></ul><p>Next week, we will share summaries of the take-aways and learnings of the conference.</p><p><b>Relive the twitter discussion during the conference on </b><a href="http://sfy.co/a0mah"><b>Storify</b></a><b>.</b></p><p><b>More resources on CrowdLaw:</b></p><ul><li>The GovLab’s videos and summaries of the two prior meetings held on <a href="http://thegovlab.org/toward-more-inclusive-lawmaking-what-we-know-still-most-need-to-know-about-crowdlaw/">June 2</a> and <a href="http://thegovlab.org/expanding-insights-crowdlaw-session-2-highlights-need-for-experimentation-collaboration/">June 16, 2014</a>, with representatives from 11 countries.</li><li>The GovLab’s publicly accessible <a href="http://openinggovernment.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1a990feb5c&amp;id=d56eef0121&amp;e=d314a67c44">crowdlaw Zotero folder</a>, featuring research resources on the subject.</li><li>@TheGovLab’s <a href="http://openinggovernment.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1a990feb5c&amp;id=89314f2ce3&amp;e=d314a67c44">#Crowdlaw Twitter List</a> to follow and learn about CrowdLaw developments from practitioners and leaders online.</li></ul>http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/130630919113http://blog.openingparliament.org/post/130630919113Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:50:51 -0400BrazilUSAChileLibyaFinlandSpainAustria