Open Information and Citizen Voice: The Vehicles for Greater Government Accountability

What makes a person choose to engage in the community?  Typically, people do not engage for the sake of engagement, but because they are concerned about a specific issue impacting their lives.  Major barriers to engagement include a lack of information as well a lacking sense of empowerment.  The cure: Ensuring popular voice and transparency of governmental processes.

The theme of accountability is surfacing in various forms in a number of conversation strings.  (See also the game blog, “Where to, Transparency?”) Suggestions for increasing accountability and reducing the influence of narrow interests (e.g. financial interests and power of a few) range from institutional changes to opportunities for using technology to increase transparency in elections and the legislative process.

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Surfacing in the global exchanges, accountability is not achieved merely through live broadcasts of the legislative process but must also suggest criminal liability.  And governments must hold all administrators responsible and carry out open budgeting processes. See following strings:

For the good of the community, some participants believe that greater accountability is required among companies and other organizations, too. What new mechanisms or legal forms (such a B Corps) could create this?

Many conversations touch on access to information.  Creating easy access to information is important, but it’s not just about making data public. There’s also the need for citizens who know how to work with data and advocate for the community.  See two strings touching on these points:

Finally, there can be no real accountability in government without ensuring popular voice.  Citizen voice is vital for the sustainability of any governmental system.  A communication string contends that free communication should be recognized as a human right.  Another observes the need for people to also see how their voices influence decision makers.  See two strings:

Ensuring popular voice and open access to information about governmental processes (such as elections and enacting laws), and who is trying to influence them, are core issues being raised in the Connected Citizens Forecast Engine.



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