Deadline extended to Nov 30! Applications open for TESTING123 Innovation Fund at Global Integrity

TESTING123 Deadline Extended to November 30

If you were planning to submit an application to the Global Integrity TESTING123 Innovation Fund, it’s not too late! The deadline for submissions has been extended by another two weeks. Details and application form at

Global Integrity is looking to invest in brand new ideas that target the challenges of transparency and accountability.  Truly innovative, wacky ideas so out there that they might fail. But they have to be testable within a reasonable time frame. If you have an idea or two that you have always wanted to try out, I’d really recommend that you apply.. and not just for the money either (most grants will be in the $10k range). The application process itself is innovative and thoughtful, and may well help you to find that nugget that makes your idea impactful. The GI team also is interested in helping out with projects along the way.

Slash Open and the Open Data Challenge

At a the recent Unlocking the potential of Open Data event held by Lasa Louise Brown and I presented a session on what can be done by non-profit organisations when they open up just a tiny crumb of data. Our aim was to encourage organisations to not only make use of data already out there but to open some of their own data up in turn and see what can happen.

We set the Open Data Challenge to encourage organisations to get started. We asked organisations to share their UK Charity Number and the number of people or organisations they worked with in the financial year 2010-2011. Matt from Lamplight then did a quick mash-up to demonstrate how even just a small piece of data can yield potentially exciting results.

In preparing the session we put together an online resource to support the Open Data Challenge called VCS Open. It was based on the Slash Open model, listing UK voluntary organisations who have opened their data, and hacks and mash-ups that have been done based on that data. After the session however it quickly became apparent that there was a considerable duplication of labour in maintaining the VCSOpen directory with the Slash Open directory so we will be transferring that resource to the Slash Open pages and look forward to helping build an international “one-stop-shop” for non-profit Open Data.

The voluntary and non-profit sectors are taking their first steps in Open Data. The benefits in learning, sharing, trust, transparency and accountability are enormous but these benefits are hindered by the scattered nature of the datasets. There is currently no central repository for voluntary sector Open Data as there is for government data (e.g. Organisations are publishing their data on their own websites and this limits how readily accessible that data really is. This is where Slash Open comes in.

By publishing their Data to a /open page and then listing that page in the Slash Open directory, organisations can make sure their data is open in a real sense. In turn, those people who are accessing the data and using it can post the results to the directory so it can be used by the organisations themselves. This is just the start but I believe Slash Open could provide a gateway to the “critical mass” of data we need to see the real and, as yet, unrealised benefits of Open Data. Let’s get behind it and see where it takes us!

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-10-06

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-10-06

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-10-06

Open Development Explained: the view from Nairobi by Open for Change

I was glad to come across this video on the new page (mostly in dutch), which does an excellent job of explaining Open Data and “open development” from a Nairobi perspective. The video has excellent visualizations and interviews with Linet Kwamboka of the Kenya ICT Board and Rolf Kleef of Open for Change. I also enjoyed the Nairobi street scenes which made me nostalgic about my childhood days growing up in Nairobi and the scenes shot in Nailab, a tech incubator in Nairobi.

Open Development Explained from Open for Change on Vimeo.

A short video defining “Open Development” and explaining its potential, with a focus on Open Data.

There are many new ways to let citizens, organisations, governments and companies work together, and share knowledge and information using internet and mobiles, to help solve some of our biggest problems.

How do we make the data and information meaningful for the groups we want to empower with these new tools? How do we create new services, new business models, and new ways of campaigning? How do we safeguard the security of vulnerable people? Is “open development” effective, and efficient?

Storyline: Open For Change -
Video: Africa Interactive -
Animation: Vive Visuals -

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-29


CALLING ALL DATA HACKERS! Get up to $10k to try out your innovative new idea through Global Integrity Innovation Fund

Are you a data hacker with a new idea you have been wanting to try out that you think will help promote transparency and accountability? Do you need a little extra motivation? Then you will want to head over to right now to apply for a $10k grant.

I am a connector for the initiative and will be blogging, nudging, and encouraging people in my networks to take advantage of this opportunity. Please help spread the word to innovators in your communities and let me know if you have questions or suggestions on where to post.

Here’s the proposition in a nutshell from Global Integrity:

We are investing in brand new ideas that target the challenges of transparency & accountability.

For us, innovation is ‘learning through trial’. We want to prioritize innovation in our own work by taking on new approaches to test, learn, and improve. Through our Innovation Fund we hope to encourage others in the transparency community to do the same.


Submit an application here. We want to know a little bit about you, your organization (if you work for one), and of course, your idea!


NOW. Applications are due on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 5pm EST. Be ready for the possibility of follow-up questions at any point after you submit your application. We will notify you on our decision to take your idea to the next round or not by December 21. Our final announcement of ideas that we are investing in will be in early 2013.


We will be investing in 10 to 15 ideas, with up to 10,000 USD per idea.


You have an innovative idea that could create new information or change the way we see existing information, with the goal of holding those responsible for governing us, to account. You want to test this idea out, but you need a little push to take the risk!