The Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) Grant for ‘Transparency and New Technologies Initiative’ provides grant to NGOs for breaking new ground in enhancing and extending transparency and accountability work through the strategic application of new technologies and data-informed approaches.
Launched in 2009, the Transparency and New Technologies Initiative initially set out to give support both to “born digital” organizations testing experimental approaches and tools, and to existing transparency organizations looking to integrate technology strategically into their work, as well as seeking to build bridges between these two communities. This work employed four key strategies:
Supporting global software projects
Supporting standards projects
Providing seed funding to digital leaders
Supporting established transparency campaigners
In the early years of this Initiative, the bias has been towards supporting projects and approaches that drive the acquisition, contextualization, and presentation of information to increase transparency. While these activities remain important, they need to be pursued in the service of an accountability outcome, rather than for their own sake. Future grantmaking will therefore include more emphasis on two new areas:
Encouraging the use of data in advocacy for greater accountability.
Developing the evidence base on the impact of data and technology in the transparency and accountability sector.
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