Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation The Transparency Policy Project


Please select one of the categories from the list below to display articles of that particular type. For older news items please visit the News Archive page.


News Categories:


Transparency for Safer Workplaces

May 2016

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

May 2016

In its April 2016 issue, Health Affairs examines whether and how patients and consumers use information to choose providers and to play a more active role in decisions about their health. The special issue reports that too often the jargon used and the information disclosed is more relevant to providers and health care systems than to patients. But the issue also identifies promising cases, from Yelp hospital reviews to customized nursing home ratings, where information may help patients make better health care choices. 

Health Affairs Focuses on Food and Health

May 2016

In its November 2015 special issue, Health Affairs focuses on the complex relationship between food and health. The articles in the issue examine the public's understanding of the impact of dietary choices on health and discuss several policy options introduced to improve Americans' diets, including menu labeling. Research on menu labeling points to a reduction in calories of menu items at restaurants displaying calorie information, but questions the impact of labeling on the dietary choices of restaurant goers.

First Do No Harm: Best Practices for Patient Safety

February 2016

Journalist David Bornstein explores medical errors, and the most promising solutions to this urgent problem, in two articles for the New York Times Fixes blog. The first article discusses how networks of hospitals are working together to share best practices and learn from each other the most successful strategies to improve patient safety. The second one presents concrete solutions adopted by certain hospitals to reduce harm to patients, from new screening procedures to reduce blood clots and sepsis, to creating "a culture of learning, transparency and improvement" in medical organizations.   

Access Our Webinar on Transparency

October 2015

On September 30th, 2015 we held a webinar titled "Information as a Tool for Regulation, How Can Transparency Work for You" for the Open Government Partnership. We would like to thank all the participants for their questions and the World Bank Group Open Learning Campus for organizing the webinar. We also thank Dr. Ben Worthy of Birbeck College, University of London, for acting as a thoughtful discussant. In case you missed it, you can see and hear our presentation here

Webinar on Information as a Tool for Regulation

September 2015

Join us for an upcoming Open Government Partnership webinar titled "Information as a Tool for Regulation, How Can Transparency Work for You." Elena Fagotto, Research Director of the Transparency Policy Project, will discuss what are the common obstacles to effective transparency systems and how insights from behavioral economics can help design simple and actionable transparency. When: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 from 10-11am EST. Register here

Too Much Information, Making Transparency Good for You

September 2015

In our recent Boston Review essay we assess the latest developments in transparency systems in the US. From menu labeling to credit card transparency, we discuss how certain features, like providing information in meaningful formats, and giving consumers choice among options can increase the impact of transparency. Building on the current debate on transparency, we conclude that transparency is less simple that it appears, and that behind an aura of openness, powerful interests continue to lobby intensely against disclosure. Read the essay here