This week: Open Daka Kosovo showcases its many apps that improve democracy; A coder puts ICE on notice; and the g0v model comes to Hong Kong.
The Kosovar capital of Pristina. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Blerta Thaci, Executive Director of Open Data Kosovo (ODK) and founder of Girls Coding Kosovo recently spoke with Hazwany Jamaluddin for an in-depth interview about the Republic of Kosovo’s open data and civic tech scene. Kosovo is a young republic, and faces a number of development challenges, including low government transparency, high youth unemployment, and issues of gender equality.
Since its founding in 2014, ODK has not shirked from those challenges, and has created a staggering number of projects to strengthen Kosovar civil society and democracy: 1. They built the country’s first open data portal 2. They created a popular app to report sexual harassment 3. And in order to expand education resources in the country, they’re compiling a database of online courses translated into Albanian.
Thaci says ODK’s biggest mission is to help institutions “build capacity for young people,” so that they “can all be part of this movement.”
Continue Reading at the Source: Civic Tech Weekly Jul 3: In Kosovo, Open Data Is a Tool to Deepen Democracy
An ICE agent. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.
In response to the Trump administration’s decision to separate children from parents at the US-Mexico border, a programmer has scrapped publicly available personnel data about US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — the agency responsible for dividing families.
New York-based programmer Sam Lavigne recently published a dataset of 1,595 people who identified as ICE workers on LinkedIn with the hopes of naming and shaming the workers responsible for carrying out Trump’s directives. However, the database was soon taken down by Medium. Similar data compiling exercises were carried out by the civic-hacking group Transparency Toolkit in 2015.
The Hong Kong skyline. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Taiwan’s “g0v” (pronounced gov-zero) not only holds the title of largest civic hacking community in East Asia, it’s also a vocal supporter for democracy and human rights. Now, a group of civic hackers in Hong Kong are putting their own spin on the g0v platform, and have recently held their first hackathon this June.
The group’s establishment comes as Beijing peels away the vestiges of Hong Kong’s semi-democratic system under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework. g0v Hong Kong — or “g0vhk.io” — plans to monitor Hong Kong’s Legislative Council sessions, and provide insight to Hong Kong citizens on how their city is changing.
A Quora page. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Let’s face it, the internet isn’t great at answering tough questions. Sure, a Google search can tell you the capital of Uruguay is Montevideo, but things get complicated when you need to find the best shampoo for dandruff or the best resort in the Azores. But a website called “Answer Bot” seeks to use the wisdom of the crowds to help the public make better decisions.
The site collates answers on tough questions, and adds helpful side-notes when there are major disagreements on a certain issue. For example, asking the AnswerBot “what car should I buy?” will aggregate hundreds of answers, and then point out areas of disagreement on ‘best fuel efficiency’ or ‘best safety record.’
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Civic Tech Weekly Jul 3: In Kosovo, Open Data Is a Tool to Deepen Democracy was originally published in g0v.news on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.