The "Open Budget Initiative” aims to find a way to inform local communities about municipal budgets, and tell citizens how they can influence authorities’ decisions about the allocation of public funds.
This pilot is inspired by an innovative multi-dimensional training workshop that was delivered to a group of journalists from Myanmar.
To help improve the flow of information among marginalized communities of West Kalimantan Indonesia, where large palm oil companies wield tremendous power, the Internews Center for Innovation and Learning initiated a three-month pilot project in September 2011 that combined the power of mobile phone technologies with citizen journalism.
If you found a USB flash drive on the sidewalk in front of work, what would you do with it? Would you take it in to work and ask around to find out if it belongs to someone? What if it had important files on it? Shouldn't you open it and find out? Should you keep it for yourself?
With more than 43 million Facebook accounts and 19 million active Twitter users, Indonesia boasts the second highest number of social media users in Asia. Despite the wave of new technology, these figures mask a stronger undercurrent of digital and social inequality. Indonesia: New Digital Nation?, a new report from the Internews Center for Innovation & Learning, explores the potential and limitations of social media and ICTs to support local community development and advocacy in Indonesia and makes recommendations for closing the digital divide.
Infographics, visual representations of often complex information, are increasingly appearing across our media landscape. The history of visual communications dates back to pre-historic times. Cave paintings and rock art are not merely decorative, and are considered stories that have relevance to the local peoples of the time. Today's infographics also tell stories. Interactivity is built in to some, but most are highly designed, incorporating elements like depict statistical type information so audiences can quickly comprehend the 'story'.
Using SMS to improve local communications and access to information is gaining popularity. As awareness of systems like FrontlineSMS spreads, individuals and small organisations are wanting to set up their own SMS news and information wires. While it's possible to download free tools and start blasting SMSs, there's more to it if you want to create something sustainable and genuinely beneficial to the end audience.
Big data has been making rapid inroads in to the development sector. Last month, the World Economic Forum (WEF) put it on their agenda by releasing a white paper entitled Big Data, Big Impact: New Possibilities for International Development. It's a short paper that presents a convincing case why big data should be used as another key indicator to determine strategy, action and policy.
If you are starting out in the field of data and visualisation and want to know more then take a look at Drawing by Numbers - an online toolkit for people "who want to use data and design to strengthen their campaigns and for advocates and activists to inspire them to create visualisations of their evidence".
Remember "public appeals" - when a charity would ask us to make a donation - often through a TV or newspaper campaign? Churches, temples, mosques and hundreds of other causes have been asking the 'crowd' for funds for thousands of years, and they continue to do so. Crowd funding isn't a new concept - but what is new is the ability to use technology to hone in audiences that may be interested in the cause and to efficiently let them feel part of the cause that's being funded.