Yesterday a Reuters news story, “Insight: China gambles on Cambodia’s shrinking forests,” which also ran in today’s Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily, mentioned Open Development Cambodia, and suggested that we are partnering with a local advocacy group to track concessions.
This is not accurate. Like any website that aggregates diverse data, we do utilize “crowd-sourcing.” We have indeed accepted information from members of the organization in question, but we have also been delighted to receive information from a wide variety of other sources including businesses, NGOs, government staff and individuals. And, to date, we have published information only on developments that are documented by government records.
The article also describes Open Development Cambodia as a “pro-transparency” website. We are more accurately an “Open Data” website, and are proud to pioneer the first of its kind in mainland Southeast Asia. The global “Open Data” movement is based on the simple premise that data collected for public interest should be publicly available – without restrictions, and that information or “data” in the public domain should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions.
As stated in our site’s ‘about’ page, our only agenda is to provide information. This facilitates a more productive and effective discussion and analysis of Cambodia’s growing economy, and issues pertaining to it.