Know Your Hubber: Sarah Orton

As part of a new monthly series, we will be chatting with various members of OpenGov Hub (or as we like to call them, Hubbers) so that you can get to know some of the amazing people that make up our community. 


Sarah Orton    

Job Title and Organization
Senior Engagement and Partnerships Associate at Development Gateway

Tell us what problems your organization is trying to solve and how they are doing that.
There are a lot of information management tools that collect and manage data. What’s missing in that sentence? Oh yea...USE that data. At DG, we work to develop tools and programs that help people use data better. That means meeting people where they are, understanding the problems they face in their job, and knowing how data can make decision-making easier.

How do you help in doing this?
I manage our proposal development and I support our strategic engagement and partnerships. I get to talk to people about what DG is and how we can make people’s jobs easier.

What are some new exciting projects your organization is working on?
Our Results Data Initiative and Open Contracting programs are really exciting, innovative projects.

With RDI, we’ll be working alongside country governments and development partners to find new ways to promote results data use, and especially to connect resource allocation to results. We’re working to provide real examples for how the “Data Revolution” can improve development policy and practice.

DG is one of the leading implementers of
open contracting. Over the past few months, we’ve been working to assess procurement efficiency and competition, as well as identify red flagging and corruption risk methodology using the Open Contracting Data Standard.

Remember what I said about data use? We’re really serious about that - we want to ensure that investments in technology and policy can be used to their greatest potential to effect change.

What do you like most about being a part of the Hub community?
I’m less than a half mile from the White House, but I’m surrounded by people from all over the world every day. For someone from a small town in suburban USA, that’s pretty cool.

Where is the most exotic place you’ve traveled?
It’s a tie. I went to the eastern coast of Sri Lanka last year for the Results Data Initiative. I also traveled to northern Wisconsin in January. Similarly exotic, very different.

What keeps you motivated?
Injustice, inequality, and inefficiency. I see problems that I want to chip away at. When the drive to make change diminishes, Beyoncé and coffee.

What is the one book or article that inspires you?
Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

If you could have another careersky’s the limitwhat would it be and why?

It may surprise you that:

  • I’m getting married in March.

  • I’m a huge ice hockey fan and even have a Boston Bruins yoga mat bag.

  • I’m DG’s resident millennial translator. Please don’t say on fleek.

I can’t live without:

  • Feminism

  • Early morning yoga

  • Post-its