Data is Critical Infrastructure for Disaster Recovery

Originally published by the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation on Medium. A pandemic may seem like the worst time to fix slow-changing, infrastructural data challenges, but there is no better time to begin correcting systems that just aren’t working. Chief Data Officers (CDOs) manage critical data infrastructure that helps states innovate and makeContinue reading “Data is Critical Infrastructure for Disaster Recovery”

What does accountability mean in local government and policing?

The term “accountability” can be vague to anyone who has watched their local government and questioned whether they’re really seeing it in action. The average person probably knows that when a scandal occurs, a local government official should step down — this is the most basic form of accountability, and one that we may witnessContinue reading “What does accountability mean in local government and policing?”

Urbanists play an important role in city protests

Last week, CityLab published a piece by Chilean journalists Juan Pablo Garnham and Nicolas Alonso connecting the Metro fare hikes in Chile to the structural instability and state oppression that the country’s residents have mobilized to protest over the last few weeks. When I first saw the headline about Chilean protests under the CityLab bannerContinue reading “Urbanists play an important role in city protests”

Opening decisions in the social services ecosystem

Originally published on the Sunlight Foundation blog. Anyone who has worked in social services will tell you that navigating bureaucratic government systems can often be the most time-consuming and soul-sucking part of the job. In her TED talk in 2015, Hillary Cottam, a social entrepreneur and design research expert, highlighted the ways in which social serviceContinue reading “Opening decisions in the social services ecosystem”

Digital rights in the era of data collection and smart city tech

Authors: Katya Abazajian and Becca WarnerOriginally published in the Sunlight Foundation blog. In September 2018, the New York Times reported that a security breach at Facebook had exposed 50 million users to data theft. The breach of such a ubiquitous social media site, which houses a host of personal data from email addresses to credit cardContinue reading “Digital rights in the era of data collection and smart city tech”

Cities should be smart about smart cities agreements

Originally published on the Sunlight Foundation blog. Recent breaches of data privacy at Facebook have been flash points for discussion and potential Congressional action about how private companies are collecting, storing, and using our personal data. As tech companies around the world scramble to implement new privacy policies, repair trust in their products, and comply with new privacyContinue reading “Cities should be smart about smart cities agreements”

How Seattle, WA is balancing openness with privacy

Authors: Katya Abazajian and Alex DoddsOriginally published on the Sunlight Foundation blog. As we all learn more about how personal data lives online and affects us offline, people are understandably asking questions about how municipal governments are collecting or protecting sensitive data. The City of Seattle in Washington, which has been recognized for excellence in open data,Continue reading “How Seattle, WA is balancing openness with privacy”

How Houston is using open data to handle Hurricane Harvey

Authors: Katya Abazajian and Alex DoddsOriginally published on the Sunlight Foundation blog. Open data has become a crucial part of emergency response to natural disasters. This week, Hurricane Harvey is demonstrating how robust open data systems can help any city cope with and recover from disaster. The City of Houston worked with partners at Harris County to makeContinue reading “How Houston is using open data to handle Hurricane Harvey”

Connecting open data to residents’ lives

Authors: Stephen Larrick and Katya AbazajianOriginally published on the Sunlight Foundation blog. United States cities face a critical challenge when it comes to fulfilling the potential of open data: that of moving beyond the mere provision of access to data toward the active facilitation of stakeholder use of data in ways that bring about community impact. Sunlight has beenContinue reading “Connecting open data to residents’ lives”