Gifted Colleagues: A Network of Technology Networks
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The TABridge community includes more than 60 different organizations from dozens of countries, but we are still a small network whose greatest strength is the knowledge we share; it doesn’t reside at a central hub. In countless ways, we are not alone.

Before we closed out 2013, we wanted to share links to a few of the networks in our network who also foster communities that teach, share and promote the effective adoption of digital tools for transparency and human rights:

In Latin America, ABRELATAM was launched this year by Uruguay’s and Chile’s Ciudadana Inteligente. By supporting transparency, citizen participation and civil liberties groups, ABRELATAM helps them to better share strategies and common challenges in open data and technology. Follow @ABRELATAM to learn more.

Nigeria’s Co-Creation Hub is one of several African tech hubs that have sprung up in recent years to help hackers, entrepreneurs and campaigners find each other and benefit from the greater capacity of a shared facility and expert community. TABridge Mentor Tunji Aleso is a director at the CC-Hub. Our partners the Indigo Trust and the Omidyar Network are also key supporters.

Founded with a focus on data gathering and collaboration, the engine room is a highly networked team whose work includes research, in-person events and tech consulting for transparency projects. Check out in particular their partnership with TechPresident’s WeGov, and follow them at @engnroom.

Environmental pioneers Greenpeace are themselves an activist network, made up of numerous chapters in dozens of countries. With their Mobilisation Lab, led by TABridge colleague Michal Silberman, Greenpeace is working to “find, test, and push the envelope on the use of technology in campaigns.” The “MobLab” shines a spotlight on innovative work across the Greenpeace community, while helping to define and steer good practices, all with a “supporter-centric approach.” Learn more in a video from Michael, or follow @mobilisationlab.

The Open Data Institute was created in 2012 by web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and open data champion Sir Nigel Shadbolt. In their first full year, they have already helped to steer international policy and established a global network of technologists, businesses and government and NGO members. Learn more about their vision for unlocking “untapped markets” and promoting deeper understanding of the open data ecosystem.

TABridge members Rufus Pollock and Lucy Chambers are two of the leaders at the Open Knowledge Foundation who have helped create the School of Data. The project was launched in 2012 to help train and establish a bigger community of data “specialists”—or “data wranglers” as Rufus calls them—experts who are proficient in both the technological and programmatic uses of open data. See an account of their recent “expedition” into Nigerian oil sector data, read more on their blog and follow them at @SchoolofData.

In Indonesia, three regional organizations banded together this year to found the Southeast Asia Transparency and Technology Initiative (SEATTI). The project’s vision for bridging gaps in tech knowledge closely resembles our own, and their inaugural gathering was co-developed with TABridge partner Aspiration. At this “brokering event,” regional budget transparency groups and tech experts met to “think strategically about how web, mobile and other technologies can further their program goals.”

The Sunlight Foundation has a long history as a pioneer in transparency tools and transparency policy in the U.S. and around the globe, and participated in our 2011 and 2012 bridging sessions. This year, Sunlight vastly expanded its network with a new international program. Among its signature 2013 projects were the launch of a Global Open Data Initiative and a push for lobbying transparency. Early this year, Sunlight also compiled an initial repository of organizations focusing on transparency and tech.

In comments during the London summit of the OGP (another network of networks), Vanessa Herringshaw talked about power of the “weight” of a collective in any push for change. Linked closely or loosely, the groups we’ve mentioned here represent a coalescing movement for accountability and social justice.

We’re proud to count these groups as allies and peers. You can help expand this movement by telling us about other groups working to bridge the gap between tech and transparency. In the words of Kwesi Eyison of Ghana’s new iSpace hub, “We do not want to reinvent the wheel, but rather bring the missing pieces of the puzzle together.”

To contribute ideas and help us grow, please contact us on twitter, and join us on Facebook. From all of us at TABridge, Happy New Year and see you in 2014!