There are many new ways to let citizens, organisations, governments and companies work together, and share knowledge and information using internet and mobiles, to help solve some of our biggest problems.
How do we make the data and information meaningful for the groups we want to empower with these new tools? How do we create new services, new business models, and new ways of campaigning?
From a business case perspective: how can a "business intelligence" approach help in data processing and analysis, based on performance indicators.
From a technical perspective: how can we deal with the large variety and volume of the data and documents.
From an information perspective: how can we combine a variety of structured and unstructured information for various purposes.
Michiel has put all of this together in a proof of concept "platform for business intelligence" based on CouchDB, using OpenCalais to annotate documents and with a front-end based on Exhibit and Simile.
The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) provides a standard to publish information on aid activities, and is intended to be used by (and useful for) all actors in development aid.
Interest is definitely growing and several organisations are investigating how to implement the standard. In several countries, national platforms of civil society organisations (CSOs) are engaging in discussions with their respective Ministries how to encourage and support implementation of IATI by CSOs. In the UK, DFID is even making IATI-compliant publication of data a condition for funding.