Our DC Community

The OpenGov Hub is home to over 35 amazing organizations working on open government issues around the world and domestically.

Below are several ways for you to explore our community.


organization network visualization

Below is a network visualization of all of the current organizations at the Hub in DC. The work of each organization is defined by three keywords as a way to better show the collaborative potential of our opengov network. 

Feel free to play around with the visualization: you can filter it by keywords, organizations, or the additional keyword tags that give a broader perspective of the work that our members are working on. 


Lynksoft was developed by Hub Hot Desk Member Leiden Universiteit's Centre for Innovation

 
 

founding members  

Development Gateway is a non-profit organization that delivers information solutions to the people on the front lines of international development work, with a focus on increasing transparency and accountability. Whether they are government policy makers deciding how to invest scarce resources, aid workers building schools and clinics, or citizens who want to have a voice in the development process, Development Gateway offers tools and advisory services that empower them to be more effective. With our partners at the College of William and Mary and Brigham Young University, Development Gateway also manages the AidData initiative, which makes information on development assistance more open and accessible. Development Gateway is a co-founder and incubator of Feedback Labs, a group of like-minded organizations committed to the belief that citizens should be driving the policies and programs that affect them.

Global Integrity supports progress toward open and accountable governance in countries and communities around the world. Our approach to doing this is informed by three key insights: first, that progress toward more open governance is inherently political; second, that actors within a given governance context play the primary role in driving governance reform; and third, that there is no universal blueprint for governance reform. We put these insights into practice by conducting research and generating data, by supporting the work of country-level reforms, and by influencing global conversations on open governance. Our work focuses on four themes: data, learning and citizen engagement; multi-stakeholder governance initiatives; open fiscal governance; and, money in politics. 

CURRENT FULL MEMBERS (in alphabetical order)

Accountability Lab is an independent, non-profit organization that works to make power-holders responsible. The Lab acts as a sounding board, listening to, analyzing and reflecting upon accountability concerns; as an independent interface, engaging relevant actors across contexts and issues; and as an operational hub, catalyzing innovative, collaborative and sustainable accountability practices and communities. Through this approach, the Lab bolsters efforts to address the causes rather than the symptoms of poverty, exclusion and insecurity.

Akvo creates open source web and mobile software, and builds networks of partners to facilitate the way in which development aid is allocated and reported. Their aim is to improve the way projects are implemented in some of the poorest parts of the world, making them more effective, efficient, sustainable and visible. Many of their partners focus on water and sanitation, but more recently they also cover health, education, economic development and IT projects. The Akvo system is designed to appeal to a new generation, who want to see online where their money is being spent.

Arab Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (ACPHR) works to protect human rights in the Arab region through engagement and advocacy in the U.S. Through a presence in D.C. ACPHR will work with Washington based partners to ensure that policy recommendation from credible CSO from the region have maximum impact, not only by ensure it’s proper framing for a Washington audience, but by compelling the US administration to live up to it promise to better engage with civil society. ACPHR hopes to push the administration to create sustainable mechanisms for engagement with civil society by reviewing previous efforts, ensuring input from local CSOs, and creating pressure through collaboration with international Human Rights Organizations, Think Tanks, and allied US officials. The uniqueness of this approach will allow reliable partners from throughout the Arab region and ACPHR to set the table for greater changes on US policy by creating a framework where MENA Human Rights groups and other CSOs can more effectively bringing to the US policy makers a more complex and nuanced view of the MENA Region, including the ongoing debate around Human Rights vs. National Security, from a global south, grassroots lens.

Article 19 is campaigning with people around the world for the right to exercise the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information. Article 19 envisages a world where people are free to: speak their opinions, participate in decision-making, and make informed choices about their lives.

Cadasta aims to simplify, modernize, and expedite the documentation of property rights in places where it does not exist today. Our goal is to create an innovative, alternative model for the collection and management of ownership, occupancy, and spatial data that is more appropriate to the unique challenges of this process in much of the world.

Center for Open Data Enterprise is an independent nonprofit organization that develops smarter open data strategies for government, businesses, and other nonprofits by focusing on data users. Their mission is to maximize the value of open data as a public resource that anyone can use.

Centre for Innovation - Leiden University (Netherlands) is a university do-tank that explores and creates enterprising projects at the juncture of education, technology and society. We explore technology from a people’s perspective by starting initiatives relevant to society, developing learning experiences and innovation tools. We connect faculty, students, our partners, the market and society at large. Actively merging different visions, methods and experiences we tackle challenges and come up with new solutions.

D3 Systems, Inc. is a full-service market and social science research company that has served the “design, data, and decisions” research needs of an international clientele since 1985. D3 has particular expertise in providing global research solutions for news organizations, international development and assistance programming, public policy formulation, and audience and media measurement. We have conducted regional and country-specific research in more than 120 countries, including fragile states and conflict environments. We manage simultaneous data collection in multiple countries. Clients also look to us for survey data management, and detailed, strategic recommendations. Recognizing that conflict and fragility negatively impact millions of lives and pose distinct challenges for both developed and developing countries, D3 has cultivated deep and successful relationships to sustain field operations in difficult environments where no reliable alternative exists. Notable examples include Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iraq where D3 has used knowledge and resource transfer to build thriving research companies.

Development Initiatives works to ensure that decisions about the allocation of finance and resources result in an end to poverty, increase resilience and security of the world’s most vulnerable people, and ensure no one is left behind. We work to make sure these decisions are underpinned by objective and transparent data and evidence, and lead to increased accountability and sustainable long-term outcomes.

DG Market is an international database of public procurement tenders in various sectors from governments worldwide. With procurement opportunities from over 170 countries and over 1 million tender notices each year, DG Markets exists to help promote transparency and efficiency in government procurement processes.

Fair Trials is a human rights organisation that works to improve respect for the fundamental human right to a fair trial. They believe the right to a fair trial is an essential part of a just society. Each person accused of a crime should have their guilt or innocence determined by a fair and effective legal process. But the right to a fair trial is not just about protecting suspects and defendants; it also makes societies safer and stronger. Without fair trials, trust in justice and in government collapses. Fair Trials helps people to understand and defend their rights, fights the underlying causes of unfair trials, and is building an international network of fair trial defenders.

Feedback Labs works to build a system that supports citizen feedback through human-centered design, technology, and other inclusive methods. Their work focuses on three core activities: 1. Framing the issue through research and open conversation to clarify a number of key theoretical and empirical issues. 2. Experimenting to uncover what works and what doesn’t. 3. Mainstreaming feedback mechanisms that are scalable through partnerships with governments, agencies, and organizations

Forum One is a digital communications firm with expertise on open source development that is focused on driving progress on issues of importance such as health, education, the environment, and international development. Forum One provides internet strategy, online community and collaboration, user experience and design, and innovative website development for influential organizations around the world. 

GroundTruth Initiative is a new media and technology consulting company specializing in community-based participatory technologies, especially mapping and citizen journalism, in poor and marginalized regions throughout the world. They design projects, tools, and websites to empower people to harness the potential of the Internet to guide their own development processes and become more active participants in democracy by amplifying their voices. They help people to use the Internet and simple digital tools to report on and speak out about issues they care about by using digital storytelling. 

Hollings Center for International Dialogue is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering dialogue between the United States and countries with predominantly Muslim populations in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Eurasia and Europe. In pursuit of this mission, the Hollings Center convenes dialogue conferences that generate new thinking on important international issues and deepen channels of communication across opinion leaders and experts.

IMAGO Global Grassroots works with grassroots organizations around the world to enhance their strengths, build their capacity, and scale-up their impact in a way that respects their unique context and evolution. IMAGO works from a three prong approach: (i) co-creating organizational strategies to decide on priority areas of focus; (ii) building the in-house capacity in organizations to conduct their own research, diagnosis and monitoring and evaluation of their programs, and (iii) assembling multi-disciplinary teams to address specific challenges that organizations face when going to scale. 

International Development Exchange (IDEX): In the Global South and around the world, visionary local leaders are creating and implementing innovative initiatives to transform our food systems for the better, fight for true climate action, and build wealth in their communities. IDEX invests in these leaders on the front lines, partnering with funders and donors to provide flexible, long-term, small grants to effective, locally-based and indigenous-led organizations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank and research organization committed to conducting objective, empirical research and offering expert policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States. These issues include U.S. foreign policy, national security, the economy, and public health. In addition, ISPU has assembled leading experts across multiple disciplines and built a solid reputation as a trusted source for information about American Muslims and Muslim communities around the world.

The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission) is a major new global initiative engaging world leaders, policy makers and researchers to develop a renewed and compelling investment case and financing pathway for achieving equal educational opportunity for children and young people. The Commission will bring together the best research and policy analysis on the actions necessary to increase investment in concrete, relevant learning outcomes that have a positive impact on economic and social development. While the entire education system will be considered starting in the early years, the Commission will pay particular attention to the provision of basic education and its role in improving life chances and generating equal opportunities for young people to access further education, enter the workforce and engage in society. The Commission aims to secure increased, more effective investments and contribute to the mobilization of new partnerships to achieve these aims, particularly in middle-income and low-income countries.

Land Alliance is committed to finding solutions to the complex development challenges of cities, rural landscapes and forests through the power of allying local, national, and international resources in innovative ways. They seek to harness the values inherent in land, place and natural resources to drive socially inclusive and ecologically-grounded development. Land Alliance acts as a catalyst for change by mobilizing local action, managing knowledge, driving accountability, and developing long-term capacities. They seek to be a positive disrupter of status quo situations that keep people in poverty and insecurity, misuse resources, and inhibit local growth.

National Council on US-Libya Relations (NCUSLR) exists to strengthen U.S. engagement in Libya for a successful democratic transition and effective state-building by providing U.S. institutions and policy makers with timely and accurate information on relevant political, cultural, and economic aspects of Libya.

National Democratic Institute (NDI) and its local partners work to promote openness and accountability in government by building political and civic organizations, safeguarding elections, and promoting citizen participation. The Institute brings together individuals and groups to share ideas, knowledge, experiences and expertise that can be adapted to the needs of individual countries. NDI's Tech4Dem team implements a diverse range of programs with critical information and communications technology (ICT) components, targeting democratic institutions and/or supporting democrats in general.

Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. They do this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis, and capacity development. They work with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries.

Open Data Watch was established in 2013 to monitor and report the degree to which countries and agencies have succeeded in implementing Open Data policies, and provides technical assistance to strengthen countries or agencies data management and disseminations practices and projects leading to overall improvements in statistical capacity.

Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. OGP aims to increase the availability of information about governmental activities; support civic participation; implement the highest standards of professional integrity throughout administrations; and increase access to new technologies for openness and accountability. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a steering committee of governments and civil society organizations.

Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) envisions societies where citizens succeed in making their government free of corruption. Their approach to realizing this vision focuses on incubating innovative good governance initiatives to validate selected ideas, scaling-up successful approaches for wide-spread replication, and disseminating results and lessons learned from their experience to advance the global movement against corruption.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations against individuals. PHR use our investigations and expertise to advocate for the: prevention of individual or small scale acts of violence from becoming mass atrocities; protection of internationally-guaranteed rights of individuals and civilian populations; and, prosecution of those who violate human rights.

ReThink Media is a unique, non-profit organization focused on building the individual and collaborative communications capacity of nonprofit think tanks, experts, and advocacy groups working toward a more constructive US foreign and national security policy, the protection of human and civil rights and strengthening our democracy. The community they serve includes the foremost leaders, thinkers and organizers in the fields of disarmament, nonproliferation, conflict prevention, human and civil rights and electoral and judicial reform. They are leading efforts to provide innovative solutions to complex problems, promote positive engagement in meeting today's global challenges and ensure the full participation of all Americans.

SIMLab is a DC-based nonprofit that helps organizations use technology to build systems and services that are more accessible, responsive, and resilient. Our subject matter experts and technologists highlight the human elements of technology use and uncovers how technology impacts an organization’s core mission. We believe that inclusive technology design and practice can improve access to services for everyone, make more accountable and responsive institutions, and build more resilient societies. Founded in 2007, SIMLab has worked in over two dozen countries on six continents.

Thoughtworks' mission is to better humanity through software and help drive the creation of a socially and economically just world. They bring together the most capable, driven and passionate people - they call them ‘ThoughtWorkers’ - to: Run a sustainable business; Champion software and excellence and revolutionize the IT industry; Advocate passionately for social and economic justice. 

Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) works shoulder-to-shoulder with government colleagues in African Presidencies and Ministries to help them turn their visions for development into reality. AGI’s practical support helps leaders to bridge the gap between their vision for a better future and their governments’ ability to implement it. Our advisors work with political leaders and public officials to develop the skills, systems and structures that they need to get things done and meet the expectations of their citizens. We focus on the three fundamental processes that need to work for implementation of reforms to succeed: prioritisation, so efforts are focused on a clear set of tangible goals; planning, so that it’s clear how to reach those goals; and performance management, to keep everything moving. 

Transparency & Accountability Initiative (T/AI) is a donor collaborative working to expand the impact and scale of transparency, accountability and participation interventions. We are focused on building a more just, equitable and inclusive society by providing a platform for collaboration, collective action and strategic conversation among funders. We believe in the potential of connecting the wide range of organizations and projects aimed at promoting greater openness on the part of governments, companies and other institutions so that all citizens are informed and empowered, governments are open and responsive, and citizen engagement with government is able to effectively advance public good. We encourage all those working in this field, including T/AI’s donor members, to learn from their successes and failures so that they can have greater impact in the future. 

World Wide Web Foundation was established in 2009 by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee to tackle the fundamental obstacles to realizing his vision of an open Web available, usable, and valuable for everyone. The Web is the most powerful tool for communication in the history of humanity, creating the potential for all people to participate in building a more peaceful and equitable world; however, only a small minority of people – mainly urban, male, and affluent – are part of the Web’s global conversation. The Foundation seeks to establish the open Web as a global public good and a basic right, ensuring that everyone can access and use it freely.

Current Hot Desk Members

Free Range is a purpose-driven design and innovation firm working in San Francisco and Washington, DC. Their capabilities include

  • branding: strategy, identity, messaging, storytelling, and marketing
  • innovation: business model, go-to-market, integrated campaigns, strategic partnerships, and impact
  • design: experience, digital, visual, video, product, and packaging
  • learning and development: training workshops, storytelling, innovation, business design, curriculum and course experience design, and pedagogy

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team applies the principles of open source and open data sharing for humanitarian response and economic development. They create free, up-to-date maps working with local communities to support humanitarian aid for natural disasters and political crises and to put vulnerable peoples on the map.

International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supports citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions. As a global leader in democracy promotion, we advance good governance and democratic rights by: Providing technical assistance to election officials, empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process, applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing democracies, to mature democracies.

International Republican Institute (IRI) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that aims to advance freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, assisting citizens to participate in government planning, and working to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process – including women and youth.

 

PREVIOUS Members 

Access defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining innovative policy, user engagement, and direct technical support, they fight for open and secure communications for all. To make sure change happens on an institutional level, Access connects digital activists with those in the technology industry, academia, and government, so that together they can influence decision makers on key Internet governance issues. We aim to keep the concerns of human rights defenders working in cyberspace at the forefront of both policy and practice, by providing thought leadership and innovative ideas at the national, regional and international levels.

Caktus creates custom web and mobile applications for businesses and social good. Started in 2007, Caktus has created more than 100 social impact, humanitarian and business applications reaching over 73.8 million people globally. Organizations partner with Caktus because of our expertise in creating high quality, reliable, secure, and scalable systems. The trust of our clients have led us to become the largest US firm specializing in Django, an open source web framework. Clients include universities, media companies, and international aid organizations such as UNICEF and the International Rescue Committee.

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. CPJ ensures the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed.

Entredosmundos (E2M) ("between two worlds" in Spanish and French) focuses on cross-cultural and multimedia communication, analysis and investigation in the Americas and francophone Africa.

FrontlineSMS aims to lower barriers to driving transformative social change using mobile technologies. They build and distribute free and open-source software; provide support and resources to our users, and draw on our users experiences to inspire others. FrontlineSMS believe in giving local people ownership of the tools they need to change their world for the better. By using available technology—affordable laptops and basic mobile phones—FrontlineSMS helps organizations in both economically developed and under-developed countries to overcome the communication barriers they face.

Internews provides communities the resources to produce local news and information with integrity and independence. With global expertise and reach, Internews trains both media professionals and citizen journalists, introduces innovative media solutions, increases coverage of vital issues and helps establish policies needed for open access to information. Internews programs create platforms for dialogue and enable informed debate, which bring about social and economic progress.

Rapid Results Institute aims to help solve the “last mile” problem in development work.  RRI works in partnership with development agencies, government agencies, and international and local NGOs by introducing highly choreographed 100-day projects – Rapid Results Initiatives – into large-scale programs and projects, in ways that create local ownership and accountability for results, and that inspire innovation and collaboration among stakeholders at the local level.

South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (SAILS) aims to be a regional centre of excellence by conducting research and offering post-graduate education in South Asian law and human rights. Its mission is to further the potential of South Asia in legal education, research and scholarship and to impart knowledge and the skills which are necessary to confront the new challenges of this era. The minds behind SAILS aim to identify contemporary problems which are slowing the development of human rights in the South Asian Region and promote an understanding of the common trends and traditions of the legal systems of the South Asian counties and to further greater harmonization, development and unification of the laws of the region. SAILS intends to be a platform for legal research leading to regional integration through increasing regional cooperation of South Asia for devising appropriate means for using law as a catalyst of change for orientation of stakeholders in innovative ways for implementation of economic and social rights of the citizens and for identifying modalities of how law can be used to remove obstacles to changes and reforms directed to empowerment of the people.

Open Contracting Partnership: Open contracting refers to norms and practices for increased disclosure and participation in public contracting. It covers the whole contracting chain from planning to finalization of contract obligations, including tendering and performance. It includes the variety of contract types, from more basic contracts for the procurement of goods to complex contracts, joint venture agreements, licenses and production sharing agreements. Open contracting encompasses all public contracting, including contracts funded by combinations of public, private and donor sources.

Silatech promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development. Founded in 2008 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, we find innovative solutions to challenging problems, working with a wide spectrum of NGOs, governments and the private sector to foster sustainable, positive change for Arab youth.

Technical.ly grows local technology communities by connecting organizations and people through news, events and services. We provide original editorial, expert programming and tools which improve recruitment, marketing, community cultivation and economic development. We serve technologists, entrepreneurs and people who care about technology’s local impact.

World Resources Institute (Governance Center): WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. Transparent, effective, accountable governance is critical to ensuring that development benefits people and the planet. The Governance Center of Excellence at the World Resources Institute (WRI) works with civil society, governments, development agencies, businesses, and other institutions to improve decision-making processes and legal frameworks. Our goal is to empower people and strengthen institutions to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable decision-making. 


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