Tag Archive | Commons Lab

Wilson Center Report and Video on Crowdsourcing for the National Broadband Map

The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open Innovation for National Policy

by Zachary Bastian, Wilson Center‘s Commons Lab, and Michael Byrne, FCC.

The National Broadband Map is a powerful consumer protection tool developed by the FCC to provide consumers nationwide reliable information on broadband internet connections. Through consistent public engagement and the use of emerging crowdsourcing technologies and open-source software, the project was able to promote government transparency and trust in government, while finishing on time and avoiding cost overruns. The National Broadband Map is a vital example of the benefits to all when government prioritizes transparency, allows itself to be guided by the public, and directs national policy based on robust and reliable data. Published by the Commons Lab of the Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC September 2012.

To download a copy of the REPORT, click on the Commons Lab Scribed webpage here.

To watch the archived VIDEO on the rollout event, visit the Commons Lab YouTube page.

Too Big to Succeed: The Need for Federal IT Reform

The following is part of a special series of policy briefs by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars running until inauguration day. This piece, written by Commons Lab Early Career Scholar Zachary Bastian, tackles the need for reform in federal information technology.

As the world has become more dependent on information technology (IT), so has the federal government and its constituencies. Leveraged effectively, technical tools can engage the public, create cost savings, and improve outcomes. These benefits are obscured by regular reminders that federal IT is fundamentally flawed. It is too big to succeed. For IT to become sustainable, the federal government must enable change in three categories: 1) embracing agile development, modular contracting, and open-source software, 2) prioritizing small business participation, and 3) shifting the federal IT culture towards education and experimentation. The adoption of these reforms is vital. The current state of federal IT undermines good work through inefficiency and waste.

Click here to read the remainder of this brief on Scribd.

Nov 30: Brown Bag: International Charter on Space and Natural Disasters

Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law and Research Professor of Law, will discuss the Charter on Cooperation to Achieve the Coordinated Use of Space Facilities in the Event of Natural or Technological Disasters (Disasters Charter), which provides for the voluntary sharing of satellite imagery in the event of major disasters. Prof. Gabrynowicz will address the contents, structure, and status of the Charter, and highlight its strengths and weakness with a focus on how it could develop in the future. She also will discuss data access and sharing ideas.

Live Webcast Event on Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans

Wilson Center Event: Getting by With a Little Help from Our Friends: Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans

USAID’s Development Credit Authority utilizes risk-sharing tools to encourage private financial institutions to increase financing for creditworthy but underserved borrowers. Geo-visualization of these loans will allow donors, host governments, and the public to see where USAID has helped enhance the capacity of the private sector to make loans to new businesses and could act as a gauge for trends or signal areas for synergy.Until recently, these data could not be mapped due to problematic and non-standard location data for each loan. Under the policy umbrella of the First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, USAID leveraged federal partners, volunteer technical communities, and the power of crowdsourcing to perform intensive data mining and “geo-coding” to understand the geographic distribution of loans and make these data open to the public. Without any additional cost to USAID, data.gov, an online platform for hosting released data, was used for crowdsourcing for the first time.This case study details technical and policy implementation challenges and solutions to help other government entities explore how to leverage the power of “the crowd.”  This form of engagement is opening government and development to the public in an entirely new way. Interested individuals – from transparency advocates to development students to geography fanatics – virtually sit next to USAID staff as true partners working to solve a complex problem.

Speakers:

  • Shadrock Roberts, Senior GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Stephanie Grosser, Communications Specialist and Presidential Management Fellow, USAID
  • D. Ben Swartley, Agriculture and Environment Officer and GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, USAID

When: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:00 – 1:30 PM US Eastern Time

Live Webcast and Social Media Engagement: TechChange will be providing online engagement  for this event.

  • To follow and discuss the event on Twitter, use hashtag: #USAIDcrowd

Where:  6th Floor Conference Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20004

To RSVP to attend this event in person visit: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/getting-little-help-our-friends-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans

This meeting is free and open to the public. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To check out the archived video of the event and event summary, to be posted the following week, visit:
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/getting-little-help-our-friends-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans
http://wilsoncommonslab.org/2012/06/12/event-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans

For directions to the Wilson Center visit http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

Webcast Event on Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans

Usaid logo

Usaid logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting by With a Little Help from Our Friends: Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans

USAID’s Development Credit Authority utilizes risk-sharing tools to encourage private financial institutions to increase financing for creditworthy but underserved borrowers. Geo-visualization of these loans will allow donors, host governments, and the public to see where USAID has helped enhance the capacity of the private sector to make loans to new businesses and could act as a gauge for trends or signal areas for synergy.Until recently, these data could not be mapped due to problematic and non-standard location data for each loan. Under the policy umbrella of the First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, USAID leveraged federal partners, volunteer technical communities, and the power of crowdsourcing to perform intensive data mining and “geo-coding” to understand the geographic distribution of loans and make these data open to the public. Without any additional cost to USAID, data.gov, an online platform for hosting released data, was used for crowdsourcing for the first time.This case study details technical and policy implementation challenges and solutions to help other government entities explore how to leverage the power of “the crowd.”  This form of engagement is opening government and development to the public in an entirely new way. Interested individuals – from transparency advocates to development students to geography fanatics – virtually sit next to USAID staff as true partners working to solve a complex problem.

Speakers:

  • Shadrock Roberts, Senior GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Stephanie Grosser, Communications Specialist and Presidential Management Fellow, USAID
  • D. Ben Swartley, Agriculture and Environment Officer and GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, USAID

When:Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Where:  6th Floor Conference Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20004

To RSVP for this event visit: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/getting-little-help-our-friends-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans This meeting is free and open to the public. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

TechChange will be providing  online engagement  for this event.

  • To watch the live webcast on June 28th and contribute comments and questions for the panelists, visit: http://techchange.org/live-events/
  • To follow and discuss the event on Twitter, use hashtag: #USAIDcrowd

To check out the archived video of the event and event summary, to be posted the following week, visit:
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/getting-little-help-our-friends-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans
http://wilsoncommonslab.org/2012/06/12/event-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans

For more information, email CommonsLab@wilsoncenter.org.

For directions to the Wilson Center visit http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

Limits on the Private Sector after US v Jones

Three great articles by Robert Gellman on location privacy, on First Amendment & Fourth Amendment issues in the US Supreme Court’s GPS Tracking case (US v. Jones), and on the complexities of legislating privacy after US v Jonesin the Communia Blog of the Woodrow Wilson Center‘s Commons Lab.

Robert Gellman, JD is a privacy and information policy consultant in Washington, D.C. He served for 17 years on the staff of a subcommittee in the House of Representatives. He can be reached at bob [at] bobgellman. [dot] com or visit his website at http://www.bobgellman.com/.

%d bloggers like this: