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Developing Transparency Through Digital Means

August 23, 2017 by Rebecca Rumbul

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A number of NGOs across the world currently develop digital tools to increase a citizen interaction with official information. The successful operation of such tools depends on the expertise and efficiency of the NGO, and the willingness of institutions to disclose suitable information and data. It is this institutional interaction with civic technology that this study examines. The research explore empirical interview data gathered from government officials, public servants, campaigners and NGO’s involved in the development and implementation of civic technologies in Chile, Argentina and Mexico. The findings identify the impact these technologies have had upon government bureaucracy, and the existing barriers to openness created by institutionalized behaviors and norms. Institutionalized attitudes to information rights and conventions are shown to inform the approach that government bureaucracy takes in the provision of information, and institutionalized procedural behavior is shown to be a factor in frustrating NGOs attempting to implement civic technology.