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Can Transparency and Technology Make Us Healthier?
David Weil Named Dean of Brandeis University's Heller School
Delaying Workplace Transparency Hurts American Workers
Mary Graham on the West Wing Weekly Podcast
Mary Graham on PBS Newshour
Video of Mary Graham at Roosevelt House
Graham Discusses Presidential Secrecy with Harvard Gazette
Mary Graham on Kera FM Think
The Secrets of the Oval Office
Mary Graham at Roosevelt House
Mary Graham on WBUR Here and Now
Mary Graham at Harvard Book Store
Presidential Secrecy on Fresh Air
Listen to Mary Graham's Interview on Fresh Air
The Problem with Presidential Secrecy
Watch Forum on Presidential Secrecy
Presidential Secrecy from Washington to Trump
Date: Monday, February 6th, 2017, 6:00pm-7:00pm
Location: John F. Kennedy Jr Forum, 79 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138
About the speakers:
Norman Eisen, Fellow, the Brookings Institution. Special Assistant and Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, 2009-2011. US Ambassador to the Czech Republic (2011-2014).
Mary Graham, Co-Director, Transparency Policy Project, Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School. Author of "Presidents' Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power" (Yale Univesity Press, 2017).
Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and Academic Dean, Harvard Kennedy School, Co-Director, Transparency Policy Project.
A Look at the Effectiveness of Menu Labeling
Our Testimony on OSHA's Injuries and Illnesses Transparency Rule
Transparency for Safer Workplaces
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) bets on transparency to improve workplace safety. OSHA has issued a final rule requiring certain employers in risky industries to electronically submit injury and illness data. Employers are already collecting this information, but OSHA will now make some of it publicly available in an effort to encourage employers to make workplaces safer. OSHA believes that transparency will trigger a race to the top among employers to compete on safety. OSHA will use the data to target its enforcement resources and improve compliance. But also workers, job seekers, customers, journalists, and the general public will be able to use the information to evaluate workplace safety. The new information will allow researchers to identify emerging risks and trends in risk reduction in the industry. The rule also contains anti-retaliation protections and prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, commented: "Our new rule will nudge employers to prevent work injuries to show investors, job seekers, customers and the public they operate safe and well-managed facilities. Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target compliance assistance and enforcement resources, and enable 'big data' researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer.” The new rule becomes effective January 1, 2017 and the reporting requirements will be phased in over two years. Read a fact sheet on the rule. Read the rule.
Health Affairs Examines Patients' Use of Transparency and Evidence
Health Affairs Focuses on Food and Health
First Do No Harm: Best Practices for Patient Safety
Access Our Webinar on Transparency
Webinar on Information as a Tool for Regulation
Too Much Information, Making Transparency Good for You
Big Data for Early Detection of Car Defects
Only a Handful of States Report Medical Adverse Events by Hospital
Transparency for Patient Safety
GAO Report on Health Care Transparency
Why Critics of Transparency Are Wrong
Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything
Transparency in the global food system
Global Conference on Transparency Research
New book on the failure of disclosure
Fung is new Academic Dean at HKS
The opaque supply chain
TPP Co-Director Steps Down for Position in the Labor Department
New project on transparency and accountability
Archon Fung is a co-principal investigator of a five-year research project on accountability and transparency funded through an $8.1 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom. The project is a collaboration between the Ash Center and the Results for Development Institute and will evaluate how accountability and transparency improves governance and health care delivery in 200 communities in Indonesia and Tanzania. Other co-principal investigators are Stephen Kosack (University of Washington), Dan Levy (Harvard Kennedy School), Jean Arkedis and Courtney Tolmie (both from the Results for Development Institute). Jessica Creighton is the project manager based at the Ash Center. “This project is designed to shed light on the creative ways in which transparency and health information can empower local communities to improve the public services they receive and, ultimately, public health outcomes,” said Archon Fung. “We hope that our approach of combining rigorous qualitative field research with randomized controlled trials will create a greater insight into the impact of transparency policies and the mechanisms that produce that impact,” said Vanessa Herringshaw of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, which coordinated the project from conception to launch.
Labor Department's Take on the Digital Government Strategy
A White House initiative aimed at fostering the delivery of information to the public resulted in scores of federal agencies releasing a number of datasets through individual application programming interfaces, or APIs. An API is a method used for delivering dynamically updated information from one location to another—like the Twitter feed on the homepage of this website.
However, because a subscriber must learn a different system for accessing each API, it can be rather daunting to implement a number of them. The Labor Department opted to run asll their datasets through a single API. Read about it here on the Nextgov site.
Budget Transparency and Accountability
Transparency without Democracy: The Unexpected Effects of China’s Environmental Disclosure Policy
Transit Transparency: Effective Disclosure Through Open Data
The Transparency Policy Project is pleased to announce the release of Transit Transparency: Effective Disclosure Through Open Data.
This study examines the process by which some transit agencies in the U.S. disclosed their operations data to the public and analyzes how constituencies for that data, particularly software developers and transit riders, used that information. This report is based upon five case histories of public transit agencies – Portland‘s TriMet, Boston‘s MBTA, Chicago‘s CTA, Washington‘s WMATA, and New York‘s MTA (see Appendix III: Case Studies). We sought to understand the origin, evolution and effect of those agencies‘ open data initiatives using extensive interview work, web research, and analyses of customer surveys.
We found that transit agencies‘ disclosure of operations data improved upon prior customer-information systems because: first, a subset of transit riders with programming skills were able to improve upon existing customer-information systems by customizing schedule, route and real-time arrival data to meet rider needs; second, the development of a data standard for schedule and geospatial information allowed quick adoption by transit agencies and data uptake by independent software developers; and third, the proactive engagement of local software developers by transit agencies fostered a sustainable community of use around transit data.
Transparency Policy Project releases report on Recovery Act Transparency
The IBM Center for the Business of Government has released the Transparency Policy Project's report Recovery Act Transparency: Learning from States' Experience. By examining the experience of six states in implementing the leading edge of federal spending transparency, this report seeks to understand what the disclosure of Recovery Act data accomplished, who used the available information, and to what ends. This research was funded by the Open Society Institute and the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
Communities of Transparency: Open Data in Action
Francisca Rojas, research director at the Transparency Policy Project, presents with Frank Hebbert, director of civic works at OpenPlans at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas on March 10, 2012. The title of the presentation is Communities of Transparency: Open Data in Action. The session explores two instances of transparency that utilize open data approaches - in transit information and Recovery Act expenditures - and discusses challenges to ensuring that disclosed data generates public benefits.
Data for the Public Good
O'Reilly's Open Government reporter, Alex Howard, has produced a comprehensive review of the benefits of open data in "Data for the Public Good." In this report he cites Francisca Rojas' research on how open data in transit has spurred a rich ecosystem of civic innovation that has generated dozens of customer-facing applications for transit riders.
Hacking public risk: empowering citizens with environmental data
The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) and SafeCast are two projects born of disaster: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf and the Fukushima Diachi nuclear accident after the Japan earthquake. In response, these two groups have developed and deployed low-cost digital tools that people can use to monitor the effects of these disasters and other public risks on their environment.
The Public Laboratory is an open source community that builds do-it-yourself toolkits that enable citizen-based data gathering, such as the helium-filled balloons and digital cameras they use to generate high-resolution aerial imagery to track the Gulf oil spill. SafeCast has been deploying a radiation sensor network in Japan that empowers everyday people to collect data on radiation levels and access that data to be better informed about radiation impact in their community.
Jeffrey Warren, director of research for PLOTS, and Sean Bonner, director at SafeCast, join the Transparency Policy Project on Monday, February 13th at 11:30am-12:30pm at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation (124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North) to share their experiences in do-it-yourself environmental monitoring.
Did the Stimulus Do Anything for Transparency?
Governing magazine's Ryan Holeywell examines the Recovery Act's effect on state transparency in his article "Did the Stimulus Do Anything for Transparency?". Holeywell identifies the greatest legacy of the stimulus as motivating states to develop sophisticated online transparency portals. The article cites Francisca Rojas' research noting how Massachusetts' Open Checkbook site is an outgrowth of the state's experience with Recovery Act transparency, but also warning that lack of public interest in these efforts can also lead to these websites going dark, like in California.
Fung discusses Hard Truths About Disclosure in NYT's Sunday Review
Archon Fung, co-director of the Transparency Policy Project, is quoted in Elisabeth Rosenthal's piece "Hard Truths about Disclosure" in The New York Times Sunday Review (January 21, 2012). Fung emphasizes that effective disclosure is based upon clear, actionable information, stating: I’d like to see an effort toward prioritizing what information is really important and then some effort in providing the data in a way that is simple and effective.
A call to open GPS data for Boston's school buses
Francisca Rojas, research director at the Transparency Policy Project (TPP), and David Luberoff, executive director of Harvard's Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, published an op-ed in the Boston Globe titled "Tardy school buses? There's an app for that" on January 10, 2012. Rojas and Luberoff call for Boston's public schools to make information about the location of its buses available to parents, students, teachers and principals as a way to improve the system's problem of late buses. The argument for this "open data" strategy is based on TPP's research findings on the outcomes of public transit agencies' release of bus and train locations to the public.
IDB hosts roundtable on transparency
On December 15, 2011, the Inter-American Development Bank hosts a roundtable discussion on Transparency and Integrity as a Condition for Sustainable Development. Discussants review the IDB’s strategic approach to transparency and anticorruption -- which employs the Transparency Policy Project's targeted transparency framework -- and discuss initiatives and progress at the country level in the US, Mexico, Brazil and Chile, including the Open Government Partnership, a global initiative launched in September of 2011 of which several IDB member countries are participants.
National Academies report on disclosure of food safety data now available
The National Research Council has published its report on the disclosure of food safety data: The Potential Consequences of Public Release of Food Safety and Inspection Service Establishment-Specific Data. In the course of its regulatory activities, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) collects large volumes of food safety data from firms that process meat, poultry, and egg products, some of which FSIS aggregates and publishes on its website. This new report responds to an FSIS request to study the implications of publishing disaggregated establishment-specific data. The Transparency Policy Project's David Weil served on the study committee.
National Academies releases report on disclosure of food safety data
David Weil served on the National Research Council study committee to produce the report: The Potential Consequences of Public Release of Food Safety and Inspection Service Establishment-Specific Data.
In the course of its regulatory activities, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) collects large volumes of food safety data from firms that process meat, poultry, and egg products, some of which FSIS aggregates and publishes on its website. In response to an FSIS request to study the implications of publishing disaggregated establishment-specific data, the National Research Council is releasing the report The Potential Consequences of Public Release of Food Safety and Inspection Service Establishment-Specific Data. As part of the release, a one-hour public teleconference will be held on November 30 at 10:30 AM via WebEx. In this teleconference, the Chair of the study committee gives a brief overview of the committee’s charge and the findings and conclusions of the committee and then takes questions from teleconference participants. To participate in the teleconference, please follow instructions on the current project website.
Dara O'Rourke on transparency and ethical consumption.
The Transparency Policy Project is hosting GoodGuide co-founder Dara O'Rourke on November 28, 2011 at the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance for a discussion of the promise and peril of mobilizing the ethical consumer through greater transparency. By simply downloading an app, consumers can access environmental, social and health impacts of more than 140,000 products. What does this mean for market interactions and for the governance of global supply chains? His talk is titled "Data is Power, or Is It? Mobilizing the Ethical Consumer" and will be held at 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North at 4pm.
MIT Transportation Showcase
Yeling Tan presents on environmental transparency in China
Yeling Tan, a pre-doctoral candidate in the Ph.D. in Public Policy degree program at the Kennedy School of Government, presents her paper titled "Clearing the Air? The Role of NGOs in China's Environmental Transparency Measures" at a brown bag lunch in the Ash Center. November 17th from 12noon-1pm at 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226.
Michael Luca on the role of information in markets
Michael Luca, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, joins us at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation on November 10, 2011 from 12-1pm for a brown bag lunch presentation titled "Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com".
Transnational Virtual Networks
Archon Fung joins Dara O'Rourke and others for a panel discussion on the potential of new technologies to strengthen and build capacity within transnational networks of civil society groups at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies on November 7.
Francisca Rojas presents as a panelist at the first BitCity: 2011 debate on "Transportation, Data, and Technology in Cities" on November 4 at Columbia University. She discusses research on the benefits and challenges of open data initiatives by transit agencies in the U.S.
Where's My Bus... and Beyond
The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston and the Transparency Policy Project co-sponsor a presentation by Francisca Rojas on how transit agencies across the U.S. released their data to the public on November 1 at HKS. The MBTA's Director of Innovation, Josh Robin, will comment.
Urban Systems webinar on Communities of Transparency
Francisca Rojas presents current research on when and how open data succeeds in bridging information gaps for the public. Using the example of how transit agencies opened their operations data to the public, this session traces the process and outcomes of a successful case of open data in action. Visit the website.
David Weil appointed to National Research Council committee
The committee looks at the consequences of disclosing data from USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (the enforcement division of the US Dept. of Agriculture in charge of inspecting meat and poultry facilities) on the web and is charged with reviewing the public benefits and potential costs of providing the public with detailed, establishment level information arising from inspections. The National Research Council is part of the National Academy of Sciences.
White House champions disclosure as regulation.
The White House issued principles of good design for public disclosure as regulatory tool in a memo issued by Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Weil on the causes and consequences of workplace restructuring
Details behind food labels revealed.
Upon scanning the bar code on food packaging, Fooducate, a free iphone app, will highlight additives, offer alternatives, compare similar products, and provide a letter grade. More information.
Participedia: New citizen participation in government.
Based on a wiki platform, Participedia is a new tool for strengthening democracy. The main content of this new site consists of user-generated articles which describe and assess participatory governance throughout the world. Visit the website.
Behavioral Economics and Regulatory Design
DOL website delivers detailed data on worker protection programs.
David Weil advises government on protecting workers.
David Weil's report for the U.S. Department of Labor entitled Improving Workplace Conditions through Strategic Enforcement was released.
David Weil delivers a paper called Making Transparency More Transparent
Full Disclosure is reviewed in Political Science Quarterly
Jay Shimshack reviewed the book in Political Science Quarterly. In his comments he says that he suspects the book, "...is destined to become the definitive book in the area, and [he] recommend[s] it to academics commencing or conducting disclosure research, policymakers considering or refining information programs, and decision makers concerned about the impact of transparency on the organizational bottom line." A full copy of his comments made be ordered here.
Archon Fung delivers talk in Berlin
Archon Fung created and maintained a website called MyFairElection during the 2008 election season that allowed people to rate their voting experience on election day in order to identify any issues or problems with the voting process.
Full Disclosure is reviewed in Perspectives on Politics
A review of the book by Brian Cook appeared in Perspectives on Politics. The full text of the article may be obtained here.
David Weil invited speaker at National Press Club in WA, D.C.
David Weil was an invited speaker at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as a part of the Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government Symposium, a collaboration between Auburn University, The National Endowment for the Public Trust and the Washington Center. He delivered a talk entitled “Making Transparency Work.”
Policy Brief for Brookings
Weil discusses Full Disclosure
Authors discuss book at Woodrow Wilson Center
Fung, Graham, and Weil discussed the central ideas in Full Dislcosure at a book launch/seminar hosted at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. The session was chaired by Dr. Philippa Strum, Director of the Division of United States Studies of the Wilson Center. Professor Alasdair Roberts of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, provided commentary. Listen here.
Graham discusses Full Disclosure on PBS NewsHour
Discussion about transparency and Full Disclosure between Mary Graham and Jeffrey Brown on the PBS show The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Both audio and video here. For a full-frame version of the video (larger image) go here. (Note that you will need Apple Quicktime to view this version, available here if you don't have it.)
Full Disclosure review on San Francisco Chronicle
Full Disclosure panel discussion
A panel discussion with the three Full Disclosure authors was held at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University's Kennedy School.
Boston Globe article
Weil and Fung's Op-Ed piece, "Fixing the Misinformation Age," appeared in the Boston Globe. Read it here.
Compliance Week uses Full Disclosure reference
Compliance Week, a weekly newsletter on corporate governance, risk and compliance, made an excerpt from Full Disclosure (printed in the March 13 issue of the publication) available to the public on this page.
Online discussion at washingtonpost.com
Weil appears on Thom Hartman