From Knight Foundation:
The Knight News Challenge on open government will run from Feb. 12 to March 18. It’s an opportunity to win part of the $5 million we’ll use this year to support innovative projects.We expect the News Challenge to generate proposals to improve the way citizens and governments interact. Projects could help parents evaluate schools, make weather data more usable, identify best routes from one town to another, or identify pork in the federal budget.Just as we do with “news,” we’re defining “open government” broadly. Wikipedia says it “holds that citizens have the right to access the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight.” The OpenGov Foundation says it’s about “making it easier for people to access and use as much government information as possible.” In their book Open Government, Daniel Lathrop and Laurel Ruma describe it even more broadly as “transparency, collaboration and participation.”One of our goals for the News Challenge is to involve more people in the use of technology to solve community problems. “Dozens of developers looking at each other in conference rooms over pizza is never going to lead to making lives better…without the active involvement of real residents expressing real needs and advocating for software that makes sense to them,” wrote Daniel O’Neil of the Smart Chicago Collaborative recently. We hope to help extend the spirit of open gov beyond those conference rooms, and to catalyze partnerships between hackers, civic innovators, governments, journalists and others. As a social investor, we feel the time is right to help advance the field.