The benefits of transparency applied to NGOs and Civic Tech organisations
Promoting openness and transparency requires to apply it to ourselves!
- 2016 December 8 14:15
- 1 h 20 min
- Salle 1 (Iéna)
Transparency, accountability and fight against corruption
To improve their advocacy work regarding democratic rules, transparency, openness and accountability, the NGO world and Civic Tech communities could strongly benefit from applying it internally to themselves.
Publishing their spendings and fundings in Open Data, releasing the technology they use or develop as Free and Open Source Software, filling and publishing declarations of interests, implementing Open Governance practices or publishing all lobbying documents, amendments and arguments exposed to elected and executive people, could be an efficient way to improve their lobbying actions by understanding from experience the legitimate questions public bodies can raise when they're sollicitated.
This workshop will try to reference good practices implemented in NGOs or Civic Tech movements in order to engage more organizations into adopting them.
Many NGOs or Civic Tech startups lobby institutions for more transparency and accountability. But the majority of these organizations don't apply to themselves the principles they advocate for others, even when they receive public funds.
Their plea could be way more efficient for instance if, as they urge for open data financial reports, their day-to-day spendings were published in a reusable format. Similarly, as they plead for better regulation of lobbying and conflicts of interests, the lobbying documents their produce should be public and all their board members should fill a declaration of interests. And what about the governance of technologies they use or develop? Do they abide by the rules of openness and transparency democracy requires?
This workshop proposes to discuss the way NGOs and Civic Tech companies can align their practices to their democratic plea. We will show good practices applied in certain organisations (Transparency International France in terms of declaration of interests, agenda and positions, Regards Citoyens in terms of budget and spendings, lobbying and interests transparency, ...) and try to find ways to update NGO pratices to improve internal democracy.
Regards Citoyens is a french organization of citizens volunteering from all regions to work together on promoting political transparency and providing a better understanding of the French democratic institutions by re-using public information. They actively promote public Open Data principles in France since 2009 and lobbying transparency since 2010. They create web projects using public data to provide tools for a better dialogue between citizens and representatives. Their most known initiative is the parliamentary monitoring website: NosDéputés.fr.