ICT for Open Contracting in Fragile States

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

By Feihu Li

Nearly 80 people packed into the OpenGov Hub's open space for a happy hour event which centered around a panel discussion about the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Open Contracting on Tuesday, March 19th. Organized with the support of the World Bank Institute (WBI), the event drummed up a lot of interesting ideas and discussions.

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Over a panel conversation with Claire Schouten, Program Director for Integrity Action; Chris Albon, Director of Governance for FrontlineSMS; Katrin Verclas, Senior Program Manager for Innovation for the National Democratic Institute; and Felipe Estefan, from the World Bank Institute’s Open Government team, new of interesting ideas and thoughts were shared, such as:

  • Technology accounts for only 5% of development projects and the open government movement; the other 95% is about ‘classic’ development work.
  • Let's stop talking about technology. Let's start talking about organizing.
  • We need to shift raw data to information, and to something that makes sense to the public.
  • We need open data as well as useful and accessible tools turning the data into actionable information.
  • A solution that works in one place, is not necessarily going to work in another place.
  • The next transparency leap for the open contracting movement is to visualize data.

In addition to the panel discussion, the event was an opportunity for Integrity Action to give an overview of the DevelopmentCheck tool and Integrity Action/WBI's recent report on ways that ICT can support public transparency, accountability and citizen participation in fragile and conflict-affected countries. 

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