Pushing for open African governance

first_img30 May 2013 Representatives of 16 countries gathered in Mombasa, Kenya on Wednesday for the first Africa outreach meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Launched in New York in September 2011, the OGP is international coalition of leading governments and civil society organisations aimed at advancing transparency and accountability in government, increasing civic participation and fighting corruption. The partnership has grown since then to 59 countries, including the eight founding countries: the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa and the UK. Africa is represented in the OGP by founding member South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, who committed to joining in 2012, and Liberia and Ghana, who are in the process of joining.Service delivery, development benefits Speaking at the opening of the OGP Africa meeting on Wednesday, South African Deputy Public Service and Administration Minister Ayando Dlodlo said it was important to “recognise the benefits of enhancing governance in order to improve service delivery and foster development”. Dlodlo told the gathering of politicians, administrators, civil society workers, academics and others that South Africa sought to help build strong international partnerships to promote good governance, which was “fundamental in improving the delivery of services to our citizens and enhancing public trust in government”. While stressing the value of a civil society with the “independence, capacity and will to hold governments accountable”, Dlodlo challenged challenge African governments and civil society to move away from a “cold war of us against them” and to work together for the betterment of people’s lives. She also highlighted the use of information communication technology (ICT) by governments, not only to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery, but also to promote information sharing and public participation.Importance of ‘open data’ Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Information Communication and Technology Fred Matiangi relayed a welcome message from President Uhuru Kenyatta calling for constructive engagement between governments and civil society to improve the living conditions of Africa’s people. Kenya’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications, Bitange Ndemo, speaking at a separate session on open data, spoke about the challenge of making technical information available to the public in clearly understandable language. Open data had to be relevant to people, Ndemo said, in order for them to understand it and use it to improve their living standards. He lauded those Kenyans who used technology to access data and rework it in language that people could understand through smartphones and apps “Our Open Data portal has information about the various counties we have in Kenya, and this is important for making development decisions about a county. The data compares counties to each other on which is lagging behind,” Ndemo said.Platforms for citizen feedback Unathi Bongco, South Africa’s OGP programme manager, told a session on improving the public service that citizen feedback was crucial in monitoring quality and improving accountability in service delivery, and noted the South African government’s use of outreach forums and special telephone hotlines to gather this feedback. The two-day conference continued on Thursday, with panelists drawn from government and civil society set to share their experiences on open governance in the day’s main event, “Conversations with African Leaders”. The panelists scheduled to take part included Qinisile Delwa from South Africa’s Department of Public Service and Administration, Thomas Karyah from Liberia’s Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Prince Kreplah of Citizens United to Promote Peace and Democracy in Liberia, Gladwell Otieno of the Africa Centre for Open Governance, and Emmanuel Kuyole of Ghana’s Revenue Watch Institute. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

How Much Is Being The Most Influential Man in News Worth?

first_imgWho is the most influential man in American news? It’s not Brian Williams or Bill O’Reilly or Keith Olbermann or Larry King. It’s not Seymour Hersh or Charlie Savage or Frank Rich or Robert Novak. No, arguably the most influential man in American news is Matt Drudge. So how much is that worth?Matt Drudge caught his first big break in 1994 1998 when he revealed that Newsweek had killed a story about a certain Presidential dalliance with an intern. A few days later Drudge revealed the name that would become the talk of a nation for months: Monica Lewinsky. In the early days, Matt Drudge was looked at as a gossip. But more recently, the man who was initially written off as an annoyance has begun to garner respect because his site is just too important to ignore.“Our largest driver of traffic is Matt Drudge,” says Washington Post editor Len Downie (Editor & Publisher). “If Drudge has a siren up, people know it’s something they have to look at,” says Mark Halperin, ABC News Political Director, referring to the gif animation of a flashing police light Drudge’s web site uses to indicate a breaking story. “When there’s a siren, that’s a three-alarm news deal,” says Mark McKinnon, one of George Bush’s campaign consultants (ABC News). Hillary Clinton has even reportedly been using Drudge to “leak” news that can preempt announcements from rival candidates.According to media metrics firm, Hitwise, Drudge is the 9th most visited news site on the web, the only non-corporate owned news site to consistently crack the top ten — a list that Drudge proudly trumpets on his website (the the right side collection of links). Alexa puts the Drudge Report in the top 250 most visited web sites in the US. comScore pegs his traffic at 1.3 million unique visitors per month, generating 60 million page views (Drudge himself claims far more traffic — but his page is set to auto reload often, which some contend inflates his traffic stats). He has a radio show that is syndicated every Sunday night in all 50 states.What that all ads up to is that Matt Drudge, the original political gossip slinger on the web, has morphed over the past 13 years into one of the most influential people in American news — if not the most influential.In the January issue of Portfolio magazine, writer Duff MacDonald attempts to put a value on the Drudge media empire. Using three different valuation models, MacDonald runs the numbers and comes out with values ranging from $5.3 million to $86.4 million. In the end, he settles on a range of $10-20 million.That’s probably fair, but anyone who wants to buy the Drudge Report better lock Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart (his only employee) into a long term contract. As MacDonald notes, without them, the site is worthless. Then again, it’s doubtful that Drudge would really want to sell — he makes enough money to afford a $1.4 million home in Miami he might not even live in and doesn’t seem likely to give up any editorial freedom. Related Posts Tags:#Trends#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img josh catone 1 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Need a Little More Personality in That Presentation? SlideShare’s YouTube Embed Can Help

first_imgFor many, the ability to share presentations online has changed the way they design their slides, present material, and interact with their audience long after the presentation has passed. But when it comes right down to it, a presentation – regardless of the artistic rendering of the materials – is only as good as the presenter. SlideShare, the largest presentation-sharing community on the Web, has continued to introduce functionality that helps bring presentations to life. But they’ve never allowed a presenter to embed themselves. Until now. Introducing YouTube embedding in SlideShare.Why would a SlideShare user want to embed a YouTube video within a presentation? There are any number of reasons. Using the feature, users could add a screencast of a product, show footage of location, provide additional context for a point, or – most importantly – include more of themselves in the presentation. Voiceover helps, but seeing the presenter is the key. When we watch presentations, we rarely stare at the slides nonstop. Instead, we oscillate between slides and presenter. Using YouTube in combination with SlideShare, one could easily recreate that back-and-forth between slides and the presenter, adding a more realistic feel to “canned” presentations online. Or, if the presentation was recorded, the presenter could add the video of the presentation to the end of the slides – letting users see the content and then see the presenter interacting with it.To try the feature for yourself, visit SlideShare and upload your presentation as you would normally. While you’re waiting for the upload to finish, head over to YouTube and grab the URLs for the videos you’d like to use. Once the upload completes, choose “Edit” and then click on the YouTube tab.The embedding feature is still in beta, so you may encounter some issues. I tried a couple of different presentation and I didn’t have any problems. In fact, I threw the following presentation together in a couple of seconds to give you an example:Testing SlideShareView more presentations or upload your own.In reality, the video encoding will take far longer, so that is going to be the biggest hurdle. But if your content already exists on YouTube, you’re ready to go right now. Don’t use YouTube? SlideShare has plans to add other players if the feature proves popular.Adding videos to presentations promises to add a great deal of depth to otherwise static online presentations – and more personality than a voiceover can provide. Couple your new dynamic presentations with SlideShare’s ability to embed presentations in LinkedIn and you could be on a speaking junket before you know it. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit rick turoczy 1 Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Tags:#Product Reviews#social networks#Video Services#web last_img read more

IBM Announces Web-Based Radiology Theatre

first_imgIBM has announced an online “radiology theatre” product, currently at the prototype stage, which allows teams of medical experts to “simultaneously discuss and review patients’ medical test data using a Web browser.” The project is being run in collaboration with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Boston and is built on IBM’s next-generation browser platform Blue Spruce, which ReadWriteWeb reviewed when it was first announced back in November. IBM also used the WebKit Open Source Browser Engine. The app runs on the Linux or MacOS X operating systems and the browser may be Safari or Internet Explorer.According to IBM, it has created a secure Web site that allows select medical experts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to access and collaborate on data such as CT scans, MRIs, EKGs and other medical tests. Each medical expert can “talk and be seen through live streaming audio/video through their standard web connection, and have the ability to whiteboard over the Web page as well as input information to the patient’s record.” Basically it is a secure multimedia experience running inside a single browser window, using Blue Spruce as the platform. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market richard macmanus Related Posts This is how IBM described how the new online radiology theatre will work:“A group of doctors can log into a secure Web site at the same time to review and analyze a patient’s recent battery of tests. For instance, a radiologist could use her mouse to circle an area on the CT scan of a lung that needs a closer look. Then using the mouse she could zoom into that scan to enlarge the view for all to see. An expert on lung cancer could use his mouse to show how the spot had changed from the last scan. And then, a pathologist could talk about patient treatments based on spots of that size depending on age and prior health history, paging through clinical data accessible on the site.The theatre allows all these experts to discuss, tag and share information simultaneously, rather than paging through stacks of papers, calling physicians to discuss scan results and then charting the results. This collaborative consultation brings together the personal data, the experts and the clinical data in one physical, visual theatre.”Perhaps the biggest potential benefit of the online radiology theatre is that it will enable experts from all over the world to consult on cases. The ability for multiple users to “cobrowse” (as IBM has termed it) means they can interact in the browser in real-time and see each other’s changes. Of course, since this is medical data, there are significant privacy implications involved in using the Internet to collaborate. But we’re pleased to see that IBM’s Blue Spruce is being put to such a worthy use and we look forward to seeing other applications this year and beyond. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A reminder that Blue Spruce is a fully browser-based application development platform, currently in development, which is being built on open Web standards. The main feature of Blue Spruce is that it allows for a combination of different Web components – data mashups, high-definition video, audio and graphics – to run simultaneously on the same browser page. It’s important to note that the Radiology Theatre app only requires a standard Web browser (as long as it’s Safari or IE!) – so there’s nothing to download for the end user, in this case doctors. The radiology theatre is the latest in a series of prototypes for Blue Spruce. The current prototypes are focused on 3 main areas: finance, health and “heavy industry” (which it previously defined as utilities, rail, steel, etc). Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#health#NYT#Product Reviews#Real World#web last_img read more

Wawa Welcome America Returns With A Week Of Free Events & The Fourth Of July Jam With The Roots, Miguel, Jennifer Nettles & More – June 27 – July 4

first_img Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015 June 25-28. And while it’s not officially a part of Wawa Welcome America, the Tall Ships Challenge arrives to the Delaware River Waterfront from June 25 to 28 — just a few days before (and on the first days of) the Wawa Welcome America festival. Check back for more information about upcoming Wawa Welcome America events. Liberty Block Party Friday, July 3, 1-8:30 p.m. The Liberty Block Party serves up samplings from the city’s top food trucks, restaurants and more — this time in the Old City neighborhood. This year’s block party will take place between 5th and 6th streets between Market and Chestnut streets. Philly @ The Movies June 29, June 30, July 1, July 2 Returning this year is the ever-popular free screening of Rocky on the Art Museum steps on Wednesday, July 1 as part of the Philly @ The Movies series. Additional film screenings — Annie, The Sixth Sense and Big Hero 6 — will occur in public locations across the city throughout the week. Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert and Fireworks Thursday, July 2, 8 p.m. Enjoy a free patriotic concert by the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra at the RiverStage at the Great Plaza. After the concert, a land-side fireworks display will illuminate the sky. 2015 Wawa Welcome America Highlights: Philly 4th of July Jam & Fireworks Saturday, July 4, 7 – 11 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to Eakins Oval  The “Largest Free Concert in America,” will rock the Parkway as The Roots, Miguel and other hitmaking artists take the stage followed by an amazing fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Party on the Parkway Saturday, July 4, noon-7 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Parkway To get ready for the epic Fourth of July Jam, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway transforms into an all day, blocks long party for festival-goers to enjoy shopping, food, drinks, games, music and much more in the summer sun. Celebration of Freedom Ceremony Saturday, July 4, 10-11 a.m., 6th and Chestnut Street Pay tribute to our nation at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, which features music, inspiring remarks, and a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and more. This year’s ceremony commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ protest, the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment. Wawa Welcome America is back on the scene with a full week of FREE events and festivities celebrating the Fourth of July holiday. And, as the birthplace of the nation, there’s no better place to spend your holiday than in Philly.   This year’s festival will include annual favorites, including firework shows, the return of Hoagie Day, the annual Philadelphia Independence Day Parade, and more. Like every year, the festivities will close with the city’s signature Fourth of July Jam & Fireworks — curated and backed Questlove and the entire Roots crew. Recently, Quest and the city announced the first few acts for this year’s concerts. The 2015 headliners include R&B/pop superstar Miguel and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. More acts will be announced soon, so stay tuned for details.  You can check out other festival highlights, below. Questlove on the drums, Black Thought on the mic(Photo by M. Edlow for GPTMC)last_img read more

Chelsea move for Nicolo Barella and Gonzalo Higuain in January

first_imgAdvertisementChelsea eye Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella and fiercely back up the signing of AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain in this month’s transfer window, as Cesc Fabregas leaves the club and Eden Hazard being on the cusp of moving over to Spain to don Real Madrid’s white kit. The Blues’ star midfielder Cesc Fabregas played his last and final game for the Premier League side yesterday as they cruised past Nottingham Forest 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the clubs’ third round FA Cup clash, to advance to the next round of the competition. Forward Eden Hazard has constantly been linked with a move to Real Madrid as soon as this month, and with the injuries sustained by Chelsea in various positions over the course of their last few games, the club try to find a way to solve their problems.Amongst the most favored and probable signings for the club, midfielder Nicolo Barella is a prime target as head coach Maurizio Sarri wishes to replace Fabregas this month and sources have confirmed that Barella is on their radar, although uncertainty looms over the Italian’s move to London. Barella’s club have asked for a fee of £45 million for their player, and Chelsea remain in the hunt for him as Inter and Napoli chase not far behind.However, the signing of a striker remains the club’s top priority as Alvaro Morata has failed to impress, and in lieu of the same, AC Milan ace Gonzalo Higuain is reported to solve the problem for Chelsea, who is currently on loan from Juventus. But the club will look to buy the Argentine forward on a permanent basis for a £32m fee.Read also:-Cesc Fabregas celebrates 500 games in the EPLOlivier Giroud injury puts Chelsea ‘in trouble’ – SarriEden Hazard to Real Madrid may finally become a reality this year Advertisementlast_img read more