You may have read about the event we hosted alongside Code4SA. We’re delighted to announce that we’ve awarded a grant of £36,850 to the team to contribute towards salary costs and an Open Data Unconference which will help the team build the Open Data community in South Africa.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the Open Data and tech for transparency and accountability movements are nascent in South Africa and remain fragmented. To tackle this, the unconference will bring together key Stakeholders including techies, government officials, academics, civil society, donors, the private sector and the media who will work together to form a Partnership for Action where all parties commit to playing a role in moving the sector forward.
The Code4SA team have already developed fantastic tools like Know Your Hood which enables citizens to see how their neighbours are voting and Know Your Councillor which helps citizens find out about their local representative and find out how to engage with them. They’ve also developed an App so people can compare drug prices and get the best deal. They’re creating APIs around the data from People’s Assembly, the elections and crime statistics and hope to work with Stakeholders so that this data can be used as part of wider campaigns.
The next phase will be building partnerships with media organisations, civil society and other Stakeholders, exploring how they can work together explore how tech and data, when used effectively can help citizens engage in democratic processes, make more informed choices and get their voices heard.
We’ve kick started with our co-hosted Hack Hackers event (alongside Africa Media Initiative) and we’re excited to be able support Code4SA as they begin to nurture this important space.