NEWS FROM THE OMIDYAR NETWORK, supporters of mobile technology to foster social change.
Stephen King, a partner at Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, confirmed the power of technology to facilitate the major objectives of the Open Government Partnership to "encourage honest and responsive governments and (to) allow citizens and communities to shape rather than just accept the services they receive".
He asserted that by using technology to empower individuals, we enable them to influence policies and priorities at a national and community level. This raises ambitions and increases interest and participation in public life. But using the opportunities that technology brings to share information is only one half of the equation. We will only reap fully all these rewards if citizens, civil society and businesses use this information to monitor progress, hold those making decisions to account, and encourage change. Transparency is vital, but so is the active engagement and participation of citizens.