Australia’s lessons in promoting open government

Title: Australia’s lessons in promoting open government
Author: Medha Basu
Source: FutureGov
Date (published): 27/11/2013
Date (accessed): 29/11/2013
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Technology is changing the way governments think, and one of the most crucial areas of change is in information management. How do governments leverage these technologies to improve information management and ultimately promote open, transparent governance?

IT professionals want local content

Title: IT professionals want local content
Source: IT News Africa
Date (published): 07/08/2011
Date (accessed): 09/08/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"Global survey reveals Business to Business (B2B) marketers must produce localised IT content to engage IT professionals outside North America.

IDG Connect’s global content survey of 3,217 IT professionals in 114 territories reveals that whilst 72% of respondents find vendor white papers extremely useful, the majority outside of North America still struggle to find the localised content they need.

Results suggest that although this is an issue worldwide, it is a greater problem in developing markets.
“Engagement levels with our audience soar when we supply content which relates to their region. This is especially true in emerging markets where this information is thin on the ground.
These results show high levels of frustration in IT professionals outside North America and prove that even modest amounts of localisation will help technology marketers enhance engagement,” said Matthew Smith VP of IDG Connect International.
· Asia: 74% of IT professionals say they would prefer localized content, but 79% say they “struggle” to find it
· South America: 81% struggle to find local content
· Africa: 75% struggle to find local content
· Middle East: 67% struggle to find local content
· Australia and New Zealand: 69% struggle to find local content
· Europe: 55% struggle to find local content"

Knowledge Discovery Empowering Australian Indigenous Communities

Title: Knowledge Discovery Empowering Australian Indigenous Communities
Authors: Dianna McClellan, Kerry Tanner
Pages: 15 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 7, Number 2, Summer 2011, 31–46
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 09/06/2011
Date (accessed): 14/07/2011
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"This article explores how Australian Indigenous communities can be empowered through knowledge discovery from institutions with Indigenous cultural collections. It reports on original case study research involving eight diverse Australian cultural institutions with valuable Indigenous cultural heritage collections. The research sought to provide a state of the art review of the role, nature, and organization of these collections, with particular emphasis on provision for digital discovery and access. These cultural institutions have a pivotal role to play in restoring memory of cultural heritage, but face many technological, resourcing, and other challenges in the process."

Empowering Indigenous learners in remote Australian communities

Title: Empowering Indigenous learners in remote Australian communities
Author: Alison Elliott
Pages: 9 pp.
Source: Prato Community CIRN Conference 2009: Empowering communities: learning from community informatics practice
Date (published): 11/12/2009
Date (accessed): 23/03/2010
Type of information: peer-reviewed conference article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Remote schools in predominantly Indigenous (Australian) towns and communities are confronted by staffing challenges unimaginable in urban areas. Ideally, remote schools should be staffed largely by teachers who have strong social and cultural ties to their communities and who want to live and work in them. However, for a range of complex cultural, social and economic reasons, many Indigenous people living in remote Australia who would make excellent teachers are not in the position to participate in mainstream higher education programs to qualify as teachers, nor are they able to participate in regular external studies or ‘open’ learning programs because of limited ICT access and skills and other social and communication challenges. This paper outlines the pedagogical underpinnings of Growing our Own and particularly, ways in which community informatics are used to empower learning. Growing our Own addresses the long standing problem of engaging remote Indigenous learners in higher education, and in the longer term, building sustainable, Indigenous teaching workforces by delivering teacher education in situ in remote Northern Territory communities. Growing Our Own is a partnership between Charles Darwin University and Catholic Education Northern Territory. The program is delivered ‘in-place’ and empowers students by valuing and actively embracing cultural knowledge as it builds relevant ways of knowing and doing ‘schooling’ to meet the graduate professional standards for teacher registration in the Northern Territory. All students are employed as Teacher Assistants.
Growing Our Own employs one-to-one and small group tutoring along with digital technologies to personalise learning, build learning communities, provide access to the wider world of education, teaching and learning and build on students’ cultural knowledges and existing teaching skills. Simultaneously, digital tools are used to support academic staff and co-teachers enrich their understandings of local Indigenous cultures and blend local ways of knowing, being and doing with contemporary “school” knowledge. This ‘two ways’ approach infuses local cultural knowledges across all aspects of the program to empower learning. Its culturally responsive focus values Indigenous educators’ strong sense of cultural identity and learning styles including collaborative work. Importantly, digital technologies are instrumental in scaffolding personalised learning approaches, including assessment, that empower students and the wider community to calibrate personal and local knowledges with mainstream curriculum knowledge and effective teaching strategie

Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0

Title: Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0. Draft Report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce
Pages: 159 pp.
Source: Government 2.0 Taskforce blog
Publisher: Government 2.0 Taskforce Secretariat. Australian Government Information Management Office
Date (published): 07/12/2009
Date (accessed): 07/12/2009
Type of information: government document
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
The Taskforce was asked to provide advice on how government information can be made more accessible and usable in order to establish a pro-disclosure culture around public sector information.
Recommendation summary:
The Government should make a Declaration on Open Government that states:
• Public sector information is a national resource, and that releasing as much of it on as permissive terms as possible will maximise its economic and social value and reinforce a healthy democracy;
• Using technology to increase collaboration in making policy and providing services will help achieve a more consultative, participatory and transparent government;
• Online engagement by public servants should be enabled and encouraged. Robust professional discussion benefits their agencies, their professional development, and the Australian public; and
• Open engagement at all levels of government is integral to promoting an informed, connected and democratic community, to public sector reform, innovation and best use of the national investment in broadband.

The document also available in HTML, MS Word here.

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Impact of ICT on Indigenous Cultures: Rejuvenation or Colonization?

Title: Impact of ICT on Indigenous Cultures: Rejuvenation or Colonization?
Author: Aparna Ray
Source: Global Voices Online
Date (published): 17/11/2009
Date (accessed): 17/11/2009
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
But can ICT truly preserve and protect distinct identities and culture? Does ICT by its very intervention introduce an element of westernization amidst the indigenous culture that it purports to preserve and protect? What is the optimum balance between preserving traditional knowledge and embracing remix culture? The cultural debate surrounding deployment of ICT in the field of indigenous/ knowledge and culture simply refuses to die down.

Indigenous Communications Program

Title: Indigenous Communications Program
Source: Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Australian Government
Date (published): 10/09/2009 (last modified)
Date (accessed): 11/11/2009
Type of information: government documents
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML and numerous pdfs)
The Indigenous Communications Program is a $30 million initiative to help improve communications services in remote Indigenous communities...will provide essential telephone services, basic public internet access facilities and computer training for many remote Indigenous communities. The program is part of the Australian Government's response package to the Regional Telecommunications Review.

Over four years commencing in 2009-10, the Indigenous Communications Program will deliver:

* a fixed or mobile satellite community telephone to around 300 remote Indigenous communities that do not currently have access to a public telephone;
* ongoing monitoring and maintenance of around 550 Indigenous community telephones, comprising around 300 new phones and 250 existing phones; and
* in collaboration with state and territory governments, expanded public internet access and delivery of computer training in up to 120 remote Indigenous communities that have limited or no public access internet facilities.

The state of the nation: A snapshot of Australian institutional repositories

Title: The state of the nation: A snapshot of Australian institutional repositories
Authors: Mary Anne Kennan, Danny A. Kingsley
ISSN: 1396-0458
Source: First Monday, Volume 14, Number 2
Publisher: University of Illinois at Chicago University Library
Date published: 02/02/2009
Date accessed: 10/08/2009
Type of information: scholarly article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
This paper provides the first full description of the status of Australian institutional repositories. Australia presents an interesting case because of the government’s support of institutional repositories and open access. A survey of all 39 Australian universities conducted in September 2008 shows that 32 institutions have active repositories and by end of 2009, 37 should have repositories. The total number of open access items has risen dramatically since January 2006. Five institutions reported they have an institution–wide open access mandate, and eight are planning to implement one. Only 20 universities have funding for their repository staff and 24 universities have funding for their repository platform, either as ongoing recurrent budgeting or absorbed into their institutions’ budgets. The remaining are still project funded. The platform most frequently used for Australian repositories is Fedora with Vital. Most of the remaining sites use EPrints or DSpace.

Open Data is Civic Capital: Best Practices for "Open Government Data"

Title: Open Data is Civic Capital: Best Practices for "Open Government Data"
Author: Joshua Tauberer
Publisher: Joshua Tauberer
Date published: 20/07/2009
Date accessed: 22/07/2009
Type of information: research document
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
This document is a best practices guide for governments embracing the notion of "open data". It discusses why open government data is beneficial to society, i.e. how it is civic capital, and what kinds of technological considerations must be made when making government data open. The document is intended to be read both by web managers, who may wish to skip the final Recommendations section, and by government web developers.
Open government data is a valuable public resource for its ability to fuel innovation in areas far beyond the mandate or resources of government. Several examples were listed above that benefit public health, safety, business and the economy, and especially civic engagement, transparency, accountability, public trust, and digital inclusion. These benefits come from the ability for computers to sort, search, and transform data into new purposes that can't often be predicted before they are discovered.

Open Data as Civic Capital
How Open Data Is Useful
Recent Trends within the United States Government
Trends on Other Countries
Why Data Format Matters
Machine-Processable Information
The Ramifications of Data Formats
Best Practices
A Path to Achieving Best Practices
What is Open Government Data?
On The Openness Process
Related Guidelines for Web Pages & Databases

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