Technology and the Demand Side of Open Government | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT
The World Bank, Washington, DC, (1818, H Street, NW), Room MC-C2 137

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Twitter: @ICT4Gov
Ask questions using hashtag #OpenDTA

A common theme in the field of open government refers to the use of technologies as a means to foster citizen engagement. A closer examination, however, shows that most initiatives facilitated by information and communication technologies have been characterized by low levels of citizen engagement.

In Brazil, the state of Rio Grande do Sul stands out as an exception. For instance, in a recent web-based policy crowdsourcing initiative, “Governador Pergunta” (“Governor Asks”), citizens were invited to co-design solutions to address health challenges in the state. The process has generated over 1,300 proposals, with more than 120,000 votes cast on the prioritization of the different proposals. In a similar vein, the state government has engaged over one million residents in its multi-channel (online and offline) participatory budgeting process this year.

At this event, high-level officials of Rio Grande do Sul will present the state’s innovations on citizen engagement and feedback mechanisms, as well as discussing the ongoing initiatives implemented with the support of the World Bank Institute’s ICT4Gov program in the framework of Rio Grande SWAp to Strengthen Public Investment.


Robert Hunja, Manager Open Governance Cluster, World Bank Institute. 

Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies and Founding Director of Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution.
Judy L. Baker, Lead Economist, Urban Practice Group, World Bank Institute.

Tiago Peixoto, Open Government Specialist, World Bank Institute.


João Motta,Secretary of Planning, Management and Citizen Participationin Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Vinícius Wu, Coordinator of Digital Office and Chief of Cabinetin the Government of Rio Grande do Sul.

Deborah L. Wetzel, Country Director for Brazil, World Bank.

Thomas Kenyon, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, World Bank.

About the “Digital Office” platform of Rio Grande do Sul

The Digital Office is a channel for participation and dialogue with civil society and is directly linked to the Governor's Office. The project conception was followed by a wide research that analyzed initiatives in Brazil and abroad. Altogether, there are now four tools available for participation in the public administration and the expectation, besides constantly qualifying and improving them, is to aggregate new mechanisms between government and citizens.

Contact: Gabinete Digital (Digital Office)
Visit their website, join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook and watch a video.

About Rio Grande do Sul State’s Multi-Channel Participatory Budgeting

Rio Grande do Sul’s Multi-Channel Participatory Budgeting (PB) can be defined as the participation of citizens in the decision-making process of state budget allocation and in the monitoring of public spending. Rio Grande do Sul’s initiative uses an innovative combination of online and offline channels, mobilizing over one million citizens in the process. External evaluation by the IDS shows that the PB process has “promoted a redistributive development model while improving budgetary planning and efficiency.”

Visit their website, join the conversation on Twitter - @participa_rs and watch a video.

About the Open Development Technology Alliance and the ICT4Gov Program

The Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA) is a knowledge platform aiming to give voice to citizens and improve accountability by offering ways to provide feedback on public services. It provides knowledge products, links experts with projects and facilitates the development of and dissemination of information and communications technology (ICT) tools.

Under the framework of ODTA, the World Bank Institute (WBI)’s ICT4Gov program focuses on empowering citizens to demand better governance around the world through the application of ICT.

Visit their website, join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. Join the ICT4Gov community of practice and the ICT4Gov ODTA community of practice.

12:30 PM  Welcome remarks
Robert Hunja  Manager, Open Governance, World Bank Institute
12:35 PM  Introductory remarks
Deborah L. Wetzel Country Director for Brazil, World Bank
Thomas Kenyon Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, World Bank
12:50 PM  Presentations
João Motta  Secretary of Planning, Management and Citizen Participation in Rio
Grande do Sul, Brazil
Vinícius Wu  Coordinator of Digital Cabinet and Chief of Cabinet in the
Government of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
1:10 PM  Comments
Darrell West  Vice President and Director of Governance Studies and Founding
Director of Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution
Judy Baker  Lead Economist, Urban Practice Group, World Bank Institute
Tiago Peixoto  Open Government Specialist, World Bank Institute
1:30 PM  Open Q&A
2:00 PM  End of event




  Robert Hunja, Manager, Open Governance, World Bank Institute
Robert Hunja is the manager for the Open Governance cluster in the World Bank Institute (WBI). As the manager for the Open Governance Cluster, Mr. Hunja leads the work of programs on Public Financial Management (PFM), Procurement, Governance in Extractive Industries (GEI), Private Sector Engagement for Good Governance (PSGG) and Information and Communication Technologies for Governance (ICT4Gov). Mr. Hunja, a Kenyan national and lawyer by training, has been working in the procurement arena for over 17 years. He has worked at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) during the development of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Works and Services. He joined the World Bank in 1995 where he worked in the Legal Department before being appointed Manager of the Bank’s Procurement Policy group. In 2006, Mr. Hunja went on external service from the World Bank and joined the Government of Kenya where he helped establish the Public Procurement Oversight Authority and was its first Director General.  He returned to the World Bank in September 2008 and was an Operations Advisor in the Africa Region before taking up his current position at the WBI. Follow Robert on Twitter: @RRHunja



  João Motta, Secretary of Planning, Management and Citizen Participation in Rio Grande do Sul
Attorney João Motta was a City Councilor (Workers’ Party) in Porto Alegre for three terms, from 1989 to 2000. Mr. Motta was Speaker of the House in 2000, and then became Planning Secretariat of Porto Alegre in the following year. In 2002, he moved to Rio de Janeiro State to coordinate infrastructure works in the state government, while serving as Joint Secretary of the state government. He was the director of Conceição Hospital from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Motta was also Superintendent of the Legislative Assembly, coordinating the Governor Genro's agenda during the election campaign in 2011 and 2012.
  Vinícius Wu was the director of the National Students Union (UNE) and a fellow of the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning (IPPUR) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He was a member of the National Youth Council (Conjuve) of the Presidency. At the Justice Ministry, he was the chief of Cabinet of the Secretariat of the Judicial Reform (SRJ) and Special Assessor to the Minister of Justice. Follow Vinícius on Twitter: @vinicius_wu


Introductory Commentators 

  Deborah L. Wetzel is the World Bank Director for Brazil. A U.S. national with more than 25 years of experience in development work around the world, Mrs. Wetzel was previously the World Bank Group’s Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she served as Director for Governance and Public Sector in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network, directing the Bank's work on taxation, public expenditures, decentralization, public sector reform and strengthening, governance and anti-corruption.
  Thomas Kenyon is a senior economist with over ten years of experience with the World Bank Group. Currently, he is the Task Team Leader of the Rio Grande do Sul SWAp to Strengthen Public Investment project, collaborating with the State Government of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Prior to joining the World Bank, he served as Industrial Development Officer at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. He also worked as a reporter with Bloomberg L.P., and a research fellow with the Center for Global Studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.




Darrell M. West is the vice president and director of Governance Studies and Director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. His current research focuses on technology, mass media, campaigns and elections, and public sector innovation. Prior to coming to Brookings, West was the John Hazen White Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University. West's latest book is Digital Schools: How Technology Can Transform Education (Brookings, 2012). Follow Darrell on Twitter: @darrwest

  Judy Baker is a Lead Economist in the Urban Practice Group at the World Bank Institute working on issues of urban poverty, service delivery, and climate change and cities, currently leading the work program of the Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Change, Disaster Risk and the Urban Poor. Prior to this she has held various positions at the World Bank since 1990 focusing on issues of poverty and inequality, sustainability and service delivery in cities, and impact evaluation for programs and policies in many developing countries, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean. Most recently she worked in the Urban Development Unit of the Sustainable Development Network leading the work program on urban poverty and slum upgrading. She has worked on a wide range of lending operations across the World Bank, authored two books, and numerous papers and country studies related to poverty, service delivery, and evaluation. She has also been a guest lecturer at a number of universities in the U.S. and developing countries.
  Tiago Peixoto, Open Government Specialist, World Bank Institute
Having worked for ten years as a practitioner and researcher in the field of ICT and participatory governance, Tiago is currently an open government specialist with the ICT4Gov program of the World Bank Institute (WBI)’s Open Governance cluster. Prior to joining the Bank, Tiago managed projects and worked as an advisor and consultant for various organizations in the field of participation and technology, such as the European Commission, OECD, the United Nations, and the Brazilian and UK Governments. He is also a research coordinator of the Electronic Democracy Centre, a joint venture of the European University Institute, the University of Zurich and the Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford. Follow Tiago on Twitter: @participatory

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT
The World Bank, Washington, DC, (1818, H Street, NW), Room MC-C2 137
Twitter: @ICT4Gov
Ask questions using hashtag #OpenDTA
External participants, REGISTER here: