India-U.S. to Announce Joint Transparency Initiative

15 July 2011

The United States and India on July 19 in India will unveil plans to help other countries use technology to improve access to government information.

The joint effort will focus primarily on “harnessing technology” to enhance openness efforts, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra told FreedomInfo.org, saving details for the announcement next week.

The bilateral effort was announced  last fall by President Obama. He pledged to spend “approximately” $1 million to help export the right to information cause, with the Indian government contributing in kind services. (See previous Freedominfo.org report.)

Since then, “scoping” work has been under way between the two governments, Chopra said, to define software tools that will further a mutual interest in encouraging transparency.

The announcement  July 19 will say that a portion of the allocated funds will be spent on technological infrastructure development,  said Chopra, who has championed the open data initiative by the Obama administration. He described the upcoming announcement as being  “at the intersection of policy and technology.”

The U.S. and India will later identify  that “a few at most” countries who will be beneficiaries, Chopra said.

The bilateral effort was announced last November, shortly after Obama called for an international campaign, known as the Open Government partnership, to improve transparency on many fronts. India last week dropped out of that effort. (See related FreedomInfo.org report.)

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