Yesterday I was fortunate enough to present at The Impacts of Civil Technology Conference 2015, hosted by mySociety. As far as I’m aware, it’s the first conference of its kind, digging deep into how we can really assess the impact of civic tech globally to date.
It was an action packed day and a really engaged audience. I loved how they built in plenty of time for Q and A and discussion. I was also most impressed with participants and presenters willingness to discuss failures.
Here’s some take home messages and thoughts from the day:
At the moment, I have around 34 ‘active’ applications and proposals on my desk – some of them are newly arrived and unread, while others are either awaiting consideration by the Indigo trustees or I’ve requested more information from the applicants. Most of the 34 are likely to be declined, but a handful may well go on to secure funding from us. The question most applicants want to know is how to get into that small subset of proposals that funders actually go on to fund. There’s plenty of advice out there about how to write great proposals and a quick Google search reveals plenty of templates and examples. What follows, then, is not an exhaustive, objective list of do’s and don’ts, but rather a highly partial, subjective list of tips and gripes that others may completely disagree with. Now, with that disclaimer out of the way here goes: Continue reading
In March 2015, Nigerians go to the polls to vote in Africa’s largest election. Yet a vote every four or five years does little to ensure responsive, responsible day-to-day government for ordinary citizens. This is a problem recognised by the Follow the Money team in Nigeria, who we have just supported with a £20,000 grant. Follow the Money aim to provide a feedback loop between citizens and governments mediated by technology. In this work, they open up datasets, provide training in open data and conduct data advocacy campaigns, such as their recent Relocate Gutsura campaign. In this campaign, the team used social media, citizen testimony and a high tempo advocacy campaign to force the government to finally release funds promised to the flood-prone Gutsura community to enable them to relocate to a less vulnerable area. This latest round of funding is intended to enable them to continue these and other operations and primarily covers core and salary costs. They will be holding more training courses and workshops, releasing more open data and conducting the advocacy campaigns for which they have become known. We look forward to providing updates of their activities here on the blog.
Readers of this blog will be aware that we have made a number of grants to South African organisations in recent months as part of a push to increase our work there in the transparency and accountability space. Continue reading
Uganda’s open data scene looks interesting at the moment and we’re glad to be able to support it through some of our grants. We recently awarded a grant to Development Research and Training for their open data work in the country and are delighted to award Fruits of Thought a second grant of £18,895 towards strengthening and extending their open data work. Continue reading
We have previously worked with Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) on a service delivery project that you can read more about here. We are delighted to announce a second grant to them of £19,673. This funding will go towards training the duty bearers/leaders in the use of mobile applications, use of internet, Ushahidi and using social media to report poor service delivery. Community members will also be equipped with citizen journalism skills to act as reporters in the community and conduct engagement meetings with duty bearers to discuss service delivery and follow-up actions. Continue reading
Within a short space of time South Africa’s digital newspaper, Daily Maverick, has become a trusted, go-to resource for insightful journalism and interesting commentary. Their most famous moment came in 2012 when they broke the news of the Marikana miners’ strike massacre in a story that made headlines around the world. Given their track record of high quality, investigative journalism we are delighted to announce that we have awarded them a grant of 250,000 Rand (approx. £14,000) towards core and staff costs.