“The Web is vital to democracy, a communications channel that makes possible a continuous worldwide conversation. The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium.” Tim Berners-Lee, 2010.
Thanks to its open, decentralised and truly “world wide” nature, the Web is revolutionising people’s capacity to obtain information, participate in debate, and organise for change. The UN’s leading expert on freedom of expression, Frank LaRue, says it is “one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the conduct of the powerful, access to information, and for facilitating active citizen participation in building democratic societies.” (see the Special Rapporteur’s full report here )
We work with civil society and political leaders to use the Web to enhance participation and accountability, building more open societies for the 21st century. We do so by training civic organisations, journalists, entrepreneurs and activists to make use of open government data, and by empowering people to improve transparency by crowd-sourcing and publishing their own data and stories. The Web Foundation also supports governments with the practical know-how to develop open government data programs, and with support from Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC) we are building a research network to explore further the impact of open government data.
Current projects include: Open Government Data, Mobile Entrepreneurship, Foroba Blon: Voice-Based Citizen Journalism