Raleigh citizens will create their open data policy and catalogue

While governments across the globe are committing to open data policies, these are proving harder to deliver than to write! Raleigh has asked its citizens to contribute to their policy development. The great thing about this, is that they’ll get an idea of who wants to use their data and how. Government data are often published to answer a set of random questions in formats that aren’t accessible to statistics programs.

I expect Raleigh will have much more success with this approach than the UK Cabinet Office did with their Public Data Corporation. Announced in January 2011, the Public Data Corporation was to “bring together Government bodies and data into one organisation and provide an unprecedented level of easily accessible public information and drive further efficiency in the delivery of public services”. Unfortunately, it took so long to figure out how it was all going to work, that the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills struck it off the register in January 2012. We may yet see a revival of the Public Data Corporation, although the proposed Raleigh approach of providing a centralised directory to separate agency data sources may be the compromise they’ll have to make.

Omidyar Network to fund social impact bonds globally

Omidyar Network to fund social impact bonds globally

Omidyar Network announces grants to Social Finance UK and US, but the following exerpt from this article seems to suggest some of the money is destined for Australian social impact bonds!

Omidyar Network’s grants will support the expansion of social impact bonds in the United States, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Canada and Israel, as well as in the international development sector.

One week left to comment on draft ACNC Bill

One week left to comment on draft ACNC Bill

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, has invited written submissions on the Exposure Draft for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill. Submissions close Friday 20 July 2012. The ACNC’s frequently asked questions contain most of the relevant information. The Committee webpage has information on making a submission. And the Commonwealth Treasury site lists the public consultations that have fed into this Bill.

This Bill will affect which information charities report, who they report it to and how it’s made available to the public. It’s been prepared by the Commonwealth Treasury, so feedback from the sector and stakeholders (including state governments) is essential. This isn’t an easy task, because Australia hasn’t had a national charity regulator before.

The consultations seem to have focused on setting out the purpose and function of the regulator and how much work charities will have to do to comply with the new systems. Less discussion has taken place on the long-term implications for charities and their funders – particularly regarding the use of data to rate or rank charities and the pressures this may place on charities or funders to behave differently. For example, classifying large reserves as low risk in constructing a risk measure encourages charities to stockpile reserves, which may reduce their cash flow for running the programs that benefit the community. Government funders may be required to compare the efficiency of the programs or organisations they fund with the wider sector as more information becomes available.

Invest with love!

Invest with love!

I heard DH Park from IWL partners, Korea, speak at the IIX/Shujog Impact Forum 2012 in Singapore about how he wanted to change the attitude of banks. With a Government that hadn’t issued a licence for a new bank in over 20 years, IWL bought 100% of the shares in W Savings Bank and began to deliver their philosophy “bank with love”. One of his initiatives was the Pinocchio loan – a loan to employed people with low credit rating. The interest rate for the loan is high, around 45%. The rate reduces if repayments are early and increases if they are late. This was partly in response to the rate of suicide in South Korea which has doubled in the last 10 years, with a third of suicides related to financial difficulty.