E-government bulletin
ISSUE 331, 21 March 2011
A Headstar Publication www.headstar.com/egb


Global internet

NEWS: Support Connected Diaspora In Fight For Democracy, MPs Urged.

Support for diaspora communities in remaining connected with their home countries online is among policy measures suggested for consideration by UK Parliamentarians in a new report on the role played by the internet, mobile phones and other digital communications in the ongoing Middle East pro-democracy struggle....

Read full story here, New technologies and democracy...

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NEWS: New Awards To Celebrate Technology For Social Good.

The use of technology as a force for social good is to be recognised by a new awards scheme which aims to reward new and powerful ways that businesses, charities, government organisations and individuals are using computers and the internet to improve the lives of others, including disabled people, the elderly and young children....

Read full story here, Technology4Good Awards...

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Cutting rates

NEWS: Recession Stokes Up IT Risks, Analyst Warns.

Public sector bodies need to be wary of unrealistic offers made by IT suppliers in the hope of capturing business from organisations with shrinking budgets, a senior IT expert has said....

Read full story here, Fears over cut-price IT...

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Continuing Echo: A new, redesigned version of a multilingual open source citizen participation tool (see E-Government Bulletin issue 315: http://bit.ly/95Pfsu ) has been released online. Although still in beta (testing) stage, the ‘echo’ project - developed by German charity echo source - allows users to engage in multilingual problem-solving debates and create joint projects on any topic. The new release features user-suggested navigation improvements and tools for more detailed analysis of debate:

Quick link: Continuing Echo:

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Energy Mapping: An interactive digital ‘energy map’ is being developed to help Nottingham City Council reduce carbon emissions throughout the city, as part of the Local Carbon Framework pilot scheme, funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which will see energy maps used at nine UK councils. The map will be built by geographic information system (GIS) provider Esri and will highlight opportunities for carbon reduction, such as streets that can benefit from increased insulation and homes suitable for photovoltaic solar panels. There will be a public map available through the council website and a separate map for local authority staff on the council’s intranet:

Quick link: Energy Mapping:

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Data Controversy: The launch of the Canadian Government’s pilot open data portal caused controversy last week when open government activist David Eaves criticised the wording of the reuse license which seemingly prohibited any reuse of data which criticised the government ( http://bit.ly/egTWn8 ). The clause has now been removed from the licence. Users of the GC Open Data website can search within a growing bank of general or geospatial government datasets, while usage and demand information will also be recorded before the next phase of the project:

Quick link: Data Controversy:

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Library shelves

Conference report:
Edge 2011 - Libraries Embrace Digital Role.

In today’s world of flexible and home working, the UK’s libraries have a unique opportunity to play a central role in many people's lives by creating public spaces for people to meet and access new technologies, delegates heard at this month’s ‘Edge 2011’ digital libraries conference in Edinburgh. Dan Jellinek reports from Edge on the sector’s latest developments...

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Libraries and new media...

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Editor: Dan Jellinek
Reporter: Tristan Parker
Associate Editors: Derek Parkinson; Mel Poluck
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ISSN 1476-6310