The Open Knowledge Foundation and Access Info are currently seeking information on open government data initiatives around the world, as part of a scoping paper supported by the Open Society Institute:

  • With major announcements from the UK and and the US in the past few months, and numerous open government data catalogues popping up around the world, there is a lot going on in the world of open government data at the moment. Hence we are putting out an open call for information about open government data around the world – including citizen-driven initiatives, official government polices and projects, mash up competitions, data sources and innovative reuses of open government data:

With new digital technologies there is an unprecedented opportunity to go beyond transparency in principle to accessibility in practice. For example mySociety‘s excellent TheyWorkForYou project allows anyone to be alerted whenever their MP speaks in parliament, or whenever a certain topic is mentioned. Our own fledgling Where Does My Money Go? aspires to help citizens understand and explore UK public spending. These kinds of projects depend on being able to reuse official information, not just access it.

We are particularly interested in looking at how Freedom of Information advocates and open government data advocates can share experience and expertise more effectively. While FOI advocates may have decades of experience of the machinations of official bodies, and a better understanding of what information is out there, where it comes from and how to request it – open government data advocates may be more familiar with technologies that can be used to analyse and explore this information in new ways.

If you’d like to keep in touch with what we’re doing, or join the conversation, you can subscribe to:

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

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