Feb 4, 2009

Insights from TIGR

Here's some flavor of what went into the President's transparency memo --from Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a member of the Technology, Innovation & Government Reform (TIGR) transition policy group. Wladawsky-Berger gives us an idea about the mission, structure and discussions of the TIGR group,
One of the first documents our new President signed within his first day in office is this memorandum on Transparency and Open Government...For the last couple of months I have been a member of the Technology, Innovation & Government Reform (TIGR) transition policy group focusing on innovation and government. This Presidential memo covers precisely the area that we worked on.

The TIGR group that I was part of was charged with developing "a range of proposals to create a 21st century government that is more open and effective; leverages technology to grow the economy, create jobs, and solve our country’s most pressing problems; respects the integrity of and renews our commitment to science; and catalyzes active citizenship and partnerships in shared governance with civil society institutions." We were organized into four sub-teams: Innovation and Government, Innovation and National Priorities, Innovation and Science, and Innovation and Civil Society. I was part of the Innovation and Government group....

Making information available is absolutely necessary, but not sufficient. There is so much data that it is often hard to find, let alone make sense of it. We need new ways to help us better analyze and understand what is behind all that information.

For example, one of the most innovative IT concepts that has emerged in the last few years is that of mashups. A mashup is a simple applications that that can be quickly developed and put into operation. The applications are typically written using a variety of open, web-based tools and combine data from different sources using open interfaces.

The biggest appeal of mashups is that rather than having to carefully pre-plan how data will be used and delivered, you can simply make that data available in industry standard formats and then encourage the public to apply their own innovative ideas to extract insights that the original data owners had no idea were there. These are the kinds of technology-based innovations that will take openness and transparency to a whole new level. More from The TIGR Group and the Gov.
This helps us build an idea of upcoming policies from this Administration.

[BTW on GP I hate acronyms, but TIGR is cool.]

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