Penny Crossland Open Government initiatives abound
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Tuesday, 21st December 2010 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added

By Penny Crossland


Earlier this year, Anne Jordan summarised some UK Government initiatives towards more 'Open Government' (see, and concluded that despite some valiant attempts there was still a long way to go. So the development of a Knowledge Hub by the UK's Local Government Group (, which will 'create a single window' for local government information comes as welcome news. No doubt the UK government's decentralisation strategy, giving more powers to local authorities, has added some urgency to the project.

Using Web 2.0 technology, the Knowledge Hub's ( remit is to 'support networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing'.

The plan is to implement a knowledge management platform via a community of practice (CoP) based approach. Rather then reinventing the wheel for existing local councils' initiatives, the intention is for The Hub to use data efficiently and pick the best tried and tested features and functionalities from community sites. In addition to sharing expertise and networking, the new project will use information from Web 2.0 sources such as blogs and Twitter – all part of the plan to help local government 'drive its own knowledge generation, capture and dissemination'.

Meanwhile, across the Channel, The European Commission, keen to exploit the momentum of open government intitatives, is working on plans for a pan-European data portal ( The intention is to make data-dependent processes more efficient. EU policies too should become more transparent to member countries, while it is hoped that the reuse of data will stimulate economic development.

Experts from a number of EU countries, including Jonathan Gray representing the UK’s Open Knowledge Foundation (, participated in a discussion about the issues to be considered in such a huge undertaking. Top of the agenda was the need for political support, the promotion of data standards, the involvement of software developers and citizens and not least, the need for data licences that can be reused.

For more information on open government plans currently available visit this site at Resourceshelf:

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