Only Foreigners Can Tell

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Katri Tammsaar, Tallinn University, Institute of Informatics
“Only Foreigners Can Tell”

The presentation focuses on the obstacles new-coming immigrants face while searching for relevant local information in Estonia.
Based on three discussion sessions and one experimental information retrieval workshop with foreign-born people living in Estonia, several issues were identified, which hinder them from finding the same everyday information about local events and useful services, as other locals do. In addition, even retrieving information particularly targeted for newcomers, it may be difficult to obtain it, due to several issues related to people’s different cultural and linguistic background.

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  • 2) In the process of developing modern European society, one of the goals defined is striving for building attractive and dynamic societies, along with creating better living conditions and social inclusion, as well as participation possibilities for all people living in the member states of the European Union (EU). Sounds great! But how do we do it?
  • Only Foreigners Can Tell

    1. 1. „ Only Foreigners Can Tell” <ul><li>IIeP International Joint Workshop </li></ul><ul><li>02.11.2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Katri Tammsaar </li></ul><ul><li>Tallinn University, Institute of Informatics </li></ul><ul><li>Centre for Educational Technology </li></ul>
    2. 2. Great expectations <ul><li>for all people living in the EU </li></ul>Modern European Society striving for building attractive and dynamic societies creating better living conditions and social inclusion participation possibilities
    3. 3. Photo: Flicr.com by ThisParticularGreg For all people...
    4. 4. Levels of Inclusion (International Association for Public Participation) 1) Inform - balanced and objective information 2) Consult - feedback and comments 3) Involve - working directly with the public 4) Collaborate - partnering with the public 5) Empower - decision-making in the hands of the public
    5. 5. Obstacles on the way Photo: Flicr.com by Foxypar4
    6. 6. Estonian language and administrative culture
    7. 7. What's wrong? They see, what we don't. They could teach us.
    8. 8. Examples Web-addresses hard to guess - Kaitseministeerium (Ministry of Defence): www.mod.gov.ee Web-addresses with double vowels – www.eesti.ee Used to the way things are, but there are other ways to do things! Labeling - “aliens”, “immigrant website”
    9. 9. Access to information In Estonian In Russian In English
    10. 10. Examples Estonian major newspaper online www.postimees.ee – different versions in Estonian and in Russian State information portal www.eesti.ee - visibly different versions in Estonian, English and Russian Tallinn City – www.tallinn.ee - German only tourist information
    11. 11. What's next? <ul><li>Compiling of manuals, advising: </li></ul><ul><li>1) the authorities, how to better share information and include non-native residents; </li></ul>2) NGOs/communities, how to look for information they need, how to find the hidden and how to be proactive. Photo: Flicr.com by SylwiaPresleyArt
    12. 12. Thank you! Contact: [email_address] Tel. +372 56 50 60 72 Tallinn University, Institute of Informatics http://iiep-project.eu/
    13. 13. Persons expected: <ul><li>Enthusiasts in the area of culture, politics, environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Experts on their own specific fields of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Active local leaders in their unique society/community, or inter-community activists. </li></ul><ul><li>With the following skills: </li></ul><ul><li>Open-mindedness and common good in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of the local administrative and legal situation </li></ul><ul><li>Team-work and interpersonal skills </li></ul><ul><li>Good language and computer skills </li></ul>

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