Tag Archives: open data

Looking for data journalists – European Week of Regions and Cities

EU Cohesion Policy open dataThe European Week of Regions and Cities will again bring together some 6000 regional representatives and experts in Brussels from 6-9 October.

We’ll be hosting a couple of hundred journalists from across the EU at the event, which includes a specially designed media programme. Given the strong focus on the use of statistics to report about European regions and EU Cohesion Policy, we will be extending a special invitation this year to a limited number of data journalists.

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Data journalism and the European elections

European election results chart

I’m following a Mass Open Online Course (MOOC) on data journalism organized by the European Journalism Centre at the moment. This week’s assignment required students to find four examples of data journalism and to say briefly:

  1. What does each story do?
  2. How was it created?
  3. How is it illustrated?
  4. What technologies were used to create the stories?

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The benefits of open data

Where is the money going?

recovery.gov mapAs part of its response to the economic crisis, the US federal government approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – a stimulus package worth $787 billion (subsequently increased to $840 billion) – in February 2009.  The Act provides financing for tax cuts and benefits, “entitlement programs” (such as unemployment benefits) and federal contracts grants and loans.

But where exactly is the money going?  Continue reading

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Collaboration top priority for government communication

OneBusAway

Using the “One Bus Away” app – a frequent site at bus stops in Seattle!

Collaboration, customer service and mobile are the three top trends in government communication to look out for in 2013, according to a survey of US state, county and city governments published on 19 March 2013 by GovDelivery.  The survey stresses the need to streamline collaboration between government agencies in order to improve efficiency and reduce costs, as well as the growing demand for digital engagement opportunities from citizens:

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Can open data improve the effectiveness of EU funding?

RoncoferraroRoncoferraro, a small town in the northern Italian region of Lombardia, has switched to 100% renewable sources for its muncipal energy needs.  A mix of different technologies, including solar power and a high-tech heating network running on locally-produced woodchips, provides heat during the cold winters and air conditioning during the hot summers.  These investments were part-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund.

Until recently, it was difficult for journalists, researchers and even public officials from the different administrations in Italy to get a comprehensive overview of the way EU funding is allocated to projects in local communities like Roncoferraro.  The relevant information was dispersed across the websites of different managing authorities, and published in formats that made it difficult to access and work with the data.

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Go where your audience is: what EU communicators can learn from local citizen engagement initiatives at EuropCom

This is a guest post by Aurélie Valtat, who chaired a workshop on “E-ambassadors: Engaging citizens in a digital world” at the Europcom conference on 18 October 2012.  Aurélie has been managing the digital communication strategy of the Council of the European Union since 2011. Before joining the European institutions, she was online communications manager at EUROCONTROL, where she demonstrated that social media can transform an institution’s engagement with citizens, in particular in times of crisis. She is also the President of IABC Belgium, the Belgian chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, and one of the leading voices in the EU blogosphere.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts here on the European Union 2.0 blog, Aurélie!

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Interactive policy-making

Neelie Kroes sharing a coffee with Chris Conder

Neelie Kroes sharing a coffee with Chris Conder

“We cannot achieve the Digital Agenda alone, and we cannot do it entirely using old procedures of consultation and legislation.”  (Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission)

Chris Conder is not a typical EU policy-maker or lobbyist.  She is a farmer and local activist who campaigns for broadband internet access in her rural community in the north of England.  But, earlier this year, Chris was invited to share her experiences with Commission Vice-President, Neelie Kroes.  She also met with the EU’s exclusive group of national “digital champions” which includes the likes of Martha Lane Fox from the UK.

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Opening the windows to knowledge

More than half of international aid for developing countries comes from the European Union and its Member States.

Implementing the EU’s development budget involves a wide range of partners across the world.  These include staff working in the Commission’s headquarters in Brussels, its delegations in non-EU countries, EU Member States, other international donors, NGOs and the wider development community.

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Fellowship programme at the University of Washington

University of Washington

William H.Gates Hall, University of Washington
Photo by Curtis Cronn, (c) Creative Commons

“I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives.” (US President Barack Obama)

In January 2013, I will be leaving for Seattle to spend six months as a European Union Fellow at the University of Washington.

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