Democracy and participation, Environment and sustainability

CivicTechPedia

Technology for meaningful public participation in decision making on local level.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Krzysztof Izdebski

ePaństwo Foundation

http://www.epf.org.pl/en

Poland

Idea

Idea pitch

The goal of the project is to increase citizen involvement in decision making at the local level. This is done by supporting civic organizations in building competence around the use of technology to improve democracy, enrich diversity and ensure the rule of law. As part of the project, we will co-create specific solutions and promote the use of responsible technologies (also in schools), with particular emphasis on the cooperation of citizens with local governments.

Where will your project idea take place?

Middle and small sized cities in Poland

What is the local challenge?

There are many civic initiatives which aim to improve the quality of public life but they are generally not prepared to incorporate technology to better accomplish their mission.
We found (https://bit.ly/2wDV7ae) that the main challenges for many civic activists in developing digital social innovation for democracy are based on the following words: impact, co-creation, synergy and cooperation. Many of our interlocutors were often accompanied by disappointment at the level of interaction with the authorities and the actual impact on public good. At the same time, there is a growing group of activists and IT specialists who are happy to share their successful experiences in finding a way to counteract civic apathy and lack of interest from representatives of public authorities.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

We will strengthen democracy and active citizenship by building local organizations’ competence to work with technologists. Support begins at the stage of correct diagnosis of the problem, searching for potential solutions and analyzing which of the technological tools best suits the needs of residents' involvement. Thanks to this, local organizations will be better prepared to boost citizen engagement locally with responsible use of technologies. We will also engage young people to use technologies to fight the climate crisis by implementing - together with selected schools - workshops on assembling air quality sensors and working with data obtained through them.

Who are you doing it for?

Our target group are people interested in using technology to improve governance on local level or to solve emerging social issues locally. This group consist of:
- activists who work to increase the level of transparency and accountability of public authorities,
- activists who work to increase civic participation and inclusiveness
- programmers and other IT specialists who want to use their skills for public good,
- local decision makers (including those from the “conservative bubble”)
- teachers and pupils from local schools.

How do you plan to get there?

Workshops on DYI air quality sensors and working with data obtained through them. Inclusion of pupils will contribute to creating a culture of using data as evidence of environment and engaging in activities aimed at its improvement.

On the basis of the workshops we will prepare a handbook for teachers, which will be devoted to the methodology of using technological tools to build pro-civic attitudes among pupils

Supporting 5 local organizations in implementing applications increasing participation.

Based on experience in working with organizations and governments at the local level, we will create a manual for civic engagement through technology

10 webinars will be held dedicated to the processes of implementing technologies that help increase civic engagement.

What are the expected results?

Project results:
- Dissemination of knowledge about the processes of implementing technologies that increase engagement
- Establishment of a network of practitioners of democracy and technology with the participation of local government representatives

Products
- 1 textbook for activists and authorities on how to use technologies in civic engagement,
- 1 handbook for teachers containing 5 lesson plans regarding technology and civic involvement
- 10 workshops for high school pupils
- at least 10 air quality sensors to be received by public schools together with support for their installation
- 10 webinars as part of the cycle "Democracy, technology, participation"
- at least 5 local communities that will use technological solutions to support civic engagement

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

In many European countries political forces that question liberal values and the rule of law have obtained strong positions over the last decade. To foster a democratic revival and support bottom-up democracy building, self-organizing communities have to be strengthened. This will not only create civil oversight of political power and allow personal democratic experiences, but also improve the quality of local governance and contribute to the recruitment of the next generation of activists and politicians.

What is your story?

Some people are saying the “Synergy” is my second name. The ePanstwo Foundation mission is to develop open government and civic engagement. We use the power of Internet and new technologies to open public data and to make it available to citizens. We provide people with knowledge and tools to make their country better. The goal of the Foundation is to support the development of democracy by spreading citizens’ rights in regard to access to public information and civic oversight over public administration. This project perfectly fit to this mission. We also see that local projects can have a bigger impact on citizens rights and this is exactly what we want to see: co-creating the participatory and inclusive environments - SYNERGY!

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Travels and accomodation: 5000
Expert fees: 10000
Personnel cost (2 pers) - 25000
Graphic design - 2000
Promotion - 3000
taxes - 4000
10 Air Pollution sensors - 800

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

What do you think about our idea of engaging pupils by showing them how to build air pollution devices and how to use data? Do you have any tips on working with young people?

Team

Krzysztof Izdebski

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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