In connection with the recent session of the U.N. General Assembly, the Open Government Partnership announced the winners of its first annual awards. The theme of this year’s awards was citizen engagement. Thirty-three countries applied (out of the sixty-six governments in the Partnership), and ten were recognized for their efforts to actively encourage citizens to engage with their government.
The U.S. entry was ranked 9th, and focused on the country’s work in open innovation. Specifically mentioned in the award recognitions were efforts in citizen science, crowdsourced data scanning, and competitions. The U.K. entry (coming in at number 6) was Sciencewise, (no, not that ScienceWISE), a resource for policymakers to better understand how public engagement can help them with science and technology policy matters. It can also support such engagement. What might be the most interesting project of those recognized is in Montenegro. The project, Be Responsible, is focused on shrinking the country’s grey economy through public reporting. Half of the fines levied against those reported will be distributed to civic projects decided on by those who participated in the program.
The Awards will continue, and the announcement for the 2015 award applications should come early in the new year.