"Open data for good governance": ossified funding regime but continued unmet need for mobilized citizenry

I mentioned, that despite a continued need articulated by Wambui, Hawi and Wangari earlier in the conversation for greater citizen engagement around data, it's ironic because the orienting ideal that started a lot of the open data movement push was exactly that: "...an active citizenry that will hold the government to account, you know, using information that they now have access to, that used to be behind closed walls, but now people can access and then they get energized, and then they want to hold people accountable. But then that never really played out. And then it became a tired kind of narrative that was then used to get donor money. And then you know, open data for better governance and for transparency and accountability, like those are all key buzzwords, you know, that ended up being just used on both ends from those who apply for funding, and then the funders who give them out, like in their calls for proposals, you know, it just became kind of another part of the next thing that then got funded," (52:06).

Kim called out this double bind: "I think that's a double bind, right there - is that it's not that you don't need more transparency and a mobilized citizenry. But even that has been locked into a certain frame. And so, you know, it's become a kind of cynical endeavor. And I think that's precisely I mean, the kind of inertia you get when something that is, in fact, promising becomes kind of locked down. That's a real double bind. And so, you know, it's those kinds of contradictions that you need to creatively imagine what kind of data infrastructure can work within that paradoxical space." (53:17)


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