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Revitalizing democracy - the power of online tools

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When some citizen technologies meets participation - a short introduction to newcomers

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Revitalizing democracy - the power of online tools

  1. 1. Revitalizing democracy The power of online tools Madarász Csaba - eDemocracy Workshop Association
  2. 2. Our democracies in transition
  3. 3. Information equality in the heart of media revolution • After Gutenberg – The printing revolution broke the power of the elite. Radio reinforced facing responsibile media usage by people in power. • Information and manipulation tools are evolved through TV. • When the internet arrives - traditional control mechanisms over communication fails – a new freedom arrives which transforms our information culture. • Media is still the message – according to Marshall McLuhan
  4. 4. Getting the elixir out of the bottle
  5. 5. Removing information inequalities between citizens and between citizens and the state in order to realize greater democratic governments.
  6. 6. Data and information
  7. 7. Actors from the global civic technology movement to upgrade democracy • Underground, bottom up initiatives for procedural innovations (democracy startups) • D21 • MySociety • Democracy OS • Yourpriorities • Dcent • Madison • LaNacion • Awaaz
  8. 8. Yourpriorities The award winning Better Reykjavik website uses the same Open Source software that runs Your Priorities. With record breaking participation the website now connects the citizens of Reykjavik with their representatives which process the top ideas every month. Everyone can view the best points for and against each idea which helps them to make up their minds on any issue. The administration gets invaluable information about citizens opinion and priorities with minimum effort.
  9. 9. Yourpriorities The award winning Better Reykjavik website uses the same Open Source software that runs Your Priorities. With record breaking participation the website now connects the citizens of Reykjavik with their representatives which process the top ideas every month. Everyone can view the best points for and against each idea which helps them to make up their minds on any issue. The administration gets invaluable information about citizens opinion and priorities with minimum effort. www.ypri.org
  10. 10. Democracy OS www.democracyos.org
  11. 11. Democracy for the internet era
  12. 12. Mysociety www.mysociety.org
  13. 13. Mysociety www.mysociety.org Fix my street They work for you What do they know Write to them
  14. 14. Mysociety www.mysociety.org Alaveteli – Powering FOI request websites Pombola – Monitoring Parliaments Fixmy street – Poplus -
  15. 15. MySociety - Pombola • A structured database that links people to places, organisations and roles. Use it to create an accessible display of, for example, all of the members of a particular house of parliament, all of the elected representatives of particular areas, or even all of the politicians who attended a specific college. • A database of parliamentary transcripts linked to the individual speakers, making it easy to display how often a politician has spoken in parliament and what they have said • Boundary information (stored in our boundary mapping service, MapIt) allows users to search any location covered by your Pombola instance, and discover the elected representatives for that area • Integrated tools allow users to comment on and socially share individual pages • Twitter streams on the home page and a blog for news items
  16. 16. MySociety - Fixmystreet • The FixMyStreet Platform is open-source software that helps people run websites for reporting common street problems, like potholes and broken street lights. • FixMyStreet sends people’s reports directly to the right authority to get them fixed, even if the person reporting it doesn’t know where it should be sent. • It also publishes them online, creating a visual archive of what has been repaired, and what is still a problem, within any part of the community.
  17. 17. Mysociety – Alaveteli // Freedom of Information • Alaveteli is our Freedom of Information platform – Ruby on Rails code for running a site like WhatDoTheyKnow.com. It can be deployed in any country, in any language, and within any legislation. • Your site will make it easy for people to ask questions of public authorities, and it will automatically publish these questions, and their answers, online. • There are Freedom of Information sites using Alaveteli in many countries, including Hungary, New Zealand, Spain, and Israel – with more coming soon. There’s even a site covering the European Union. Hundreds of thousands of requests have been made through all the Alaveteli sites worldwide.
  18. 18. Mysociety – They Work for you // Parliament monitoring • TheyWorkForYou is one of mySociety’s most visited sites, providing you with a vast range of information on the politicians who represent you, including: • Who your local MP is • Summaries of how MPs have voted • Text of debates in Parliament – laid out in a way that’s easy to read, fully searchable and linkable • Video of MPs speaking in debates • Written questions MPs have submitted to government departments, and the answers they’ve got back • Much of this content is available elsewhere on the web, but it’s typically not easy to find, navigate or share. • We’ve added extra functionality to tackle that. With TheyWorkForYou, you can: • Receive email alerts whenever a specific MP speaks, or your chosen topic is mentioned in Parliament • Be notified by email about upcoming debates or topics • Add comments and annotations to what politicians have said • TheyWorkForYou is also a historic resource which allows you to browse or search everything that was said in Parliament, right back to the 1930s.
  19. 19. MySociety – WriteIn Public • Why? Because sometimes, issues are best thrashed out in public. • Because, if a conversation is public, politicians will be more accountable for the statements and promises they make. • Because, by publishing conversations between citizens and the people they elected, WriteInPublic creates an archive of the things that matter to us all.
  20. 20. D21
  21. 21. DCENT
  22. 22. DCENT http://dcentproject.eu/
  23. 23. Madison http://mymadison.io/
  24. 24. Madison • Madison is a government policy co-creation platform that opens up laws and legislation previously off-limits to individuals and the Internet community. Launched to battle the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), it has since been used to power citizen participation in government policymaking in the United States Congress. With Madison, you can access the law as it’s being written, leave comments, annotate specific content, and interact with other civic- minded participants. Madison brings the lawmaking process straight to you, and gives you a say in your government’s decisions.
  25. 25. La nacion http://interactivos.lanacion.com.ar/declaraciones-juradas/
  26. 26. Awaaz
  27. 27. Is this enough to revitalize democracies?
  28. 28. A new possibility might pave the way
  29. 29. OGP - the international partnership in 66 countries “Calling for greater civic participation in public affairs, and seeking ways to make their governments more transparent, responsive, accountable, and effective.”
  30. 30. OGP - the international partnership in 66 countries We are: ‘cover’ for difficult reforms, and creating a supportive community of like-minded reformers from countries around the world.
  31. 31. OGP - the international partnership in 66 countries An international movement, an NGO, a new process how to innovate public service. Commitments from each country, co-designed by professionals, civil servants and ngo-s
  32. 32. How does it work? Co-Design Plan – national action Commitments – for 2 years Development – co-development Monitoring - Independent Reporting mechanisms Self-assessment
  33. 33. The focus ares of OGP
  34. 34. A more detailed view
  35. 35. Is information technology a real possibility to heal the our democracies? • Politics have to make significant commitments to restore trust in current political institutions. This means more openness, accountability, transparency and meaningful participation • More data in a machine readable format • More information in plain language • Both civic and businesses companies are offering alternatives to innovate democratic procedures. When the space for innovation is opened, new and solutions can emerge • The greatest potential is empowerment through information
  36. 36. Summarizing the key findings • Technology itself is not enought to make an impact , but when it is available as a ready to use product, it is possible to support significant democratic innovations • The innovative information/deliberation technologies can be used both from civic interest groups and governments/councils and businesses – it is a very new aspect, a shift in power • Technology providers and users can become the innnovators of democratic practice, even without being politicians. They can initiate and run new public services • Most of the very progressive technologies available are enviroment/society friendly: open source or built on open tools. This makes them adoptable and reuse in any part of the world. • There is a possibility for grassroots tools, procedures to become official, used by governments
  37. 37. Thank you for your attention! www.uvegfalu.hu www.opengovernment.hu

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