Digital Policy Open Data Smart Cities United States

Sunlight Foundation on Open Government: Cities Get It

Sunlight Foundation recently celebrated its 9th year of campaigning, lobbying and supporting efforts designed to make government more open and more accountable.

We recently met with Chris Gates, the new President of Sunlight, in Washington DC.

We asked Chris for an update on Sunlight’s work and his perspectives on how receptive government is to the idea of openness and transparency. Chris outlines why city governments are forging ahead while federal government adopts a fundamentally different attitude.

We’ll feature more from the interview with Chris in the coming weeks.


Digital Government Digital Policy Open Data

Letting the Light In: Sunlight Foundation

I first heard about Sunlight Foundation when I heard Ellen Miller present at a conference in San Francisco several years ago. Sunlight Foundation – in common with other like-minded organisations in the UK such as MySociety – has set itself the ambition of bridging the gap between citizens and government.

This is no easy task, of course. The reason a gap exists is often because of complexity – or deliberate obfuscation. But there’s no doubt that a gap exists. Citizens often feel isolated from decision-making. They often feel powerless when they have difficulty getting the information they need.

The Sunlight Foundation has evolved over the years. It was an early advocate for the opening of government data. It’s now accepted wisdom that more and more government data sets need to be opened – and Sunlight Foundation has been at the vanguard of that movement. But as government gets more complex the role of the Sunlight Foundation is changing too.

We’re delighted to announce that in the coming weeks we’ll be interviewing Chris Gates, President of Sunlight Foundation. We’ll feature the interview on this site in early July.