A Transparência Hacker, organização/comunidade que ajudou o Estadão a organizar o Hackatão, é uma das oito vencedoras do Innovation Challenges 2012, concurso da Fundação Rockefeller que analisou cerca de 2.000 projetos relacionados a problemas urbanos, abastecimento de água e segurança alimentar. Os vencedores poderão pleitear bolsas de US$ 100 mil para desenvolver suas ideias.
Elaborado por Pedro Markun (na foto acima, é o da esquerda, em primeiro plano) e Daniela Silva, o projeto da Transparência Hacker se chama “Open Legislative Data – Decoding São Paulo City Council” (Decodificando a Câmara de São Paulo). Em linhas gerais, a ideia é criar uma plataforma que leve aos cidadãos informações sobre projetos legislativos referentes a seus bairros e/ou tópicos de interesse, além de ampliar seus canais de participação no processo de análise das leis.
“Temos visto muitos movimentos políticos em São Paulo se organizarem contra leis, decisões de governo e políticas públicas – mas normalmente isso só acontece depois de as leis e resoluções estarem implementadas, ou quando há poucas coisas que as pessoas possam fazer para mudá-las ou detê-las “, dizem os autores do projeto, no texto submetido à fundação.
O Públicos manda cumprimentos públicos para o Pedro, a Daniela e os demais colaboradores do projeto.
A lista completa de vencedores pode ser lida em http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/news/press-releases/rockefeller-foundation-announces-8>
Veja abaixo a íntegra do projeto brasileiro, em inglês. (Daniel Bramatti)
Name of Idea
Open Legislative Data – Decoding São Paulo City Council
What region or city does this idea focus on?*
We’re going to work at São Paulo city. While the system will be mainly focused to work with the São Paulo City Council data, both the open-source software and the documented strategies can be adapted to different cities.
Summarize your idea.*
We have seen many political movements in São Paulo to get organized against laws, government resolutions and public policies – but that usually happens only after those laws and resolutions were already made, or when there are very few things people can do to change or stop them. Our idea is to build a platform that helps people to get official/soon-to-be official information regarding their neighborhoods and topics of interest on time; to use data to create more knowledge on how the legislative process works, and to provide ideas of how people participate on these matters in a strategical way.
Describe the data.*
We will focus on the data that describes the workflow for proposing and approving bills on São Paulo City Council, that was recently released on open data formats. It has information on the complete legislative process related to more than 31.000 bills and local regulations that have passed through the Council since it was created. By analyzing the projects that became laws and the ones that didn’t, we will be able to find patterns and bottlenecks, as so as to identify the steps of negociation these bills have been through – to sinalize actions people can take in order to participate of this process.
How will these data make people’s lives better?*
It will empower people to act on behalf of their interests by providing strategic information on the legislative process, allowing people to take actions over it while it’s still happenning, on the best timing – by knowing when it’s the right moment to influence the political process, by identifying lobbies and interests, and by knowing who are the councillors that are more likely to help them on their issues (and those who might stand on their way). Not only this project will give people structural information to articulate change in their city, as it will also promote transparency and it will create a broader sense of how politics work – all things that can bring even more benefits to the society in the near future.
What action or choices do these data enable?*
The system will present several outcomes: a plataform to (re)write bills and laws collaboratively, that will take advantage of the “LeXML” technical format adopted in Brazil. A petition widget-generator, that people can customize and use on their blogs or facebook pages, to raise public awareness and alert people about changes on bills and laws. A tool to contact strategical Councilors, with the possibility of filtering their profiles by political party, geographical activity or by a “interest filter”, based on all the political moves a representative has taken during his preceeding mandates (the system will automatically find the ‘champions’ of specific topics, so people can identifly them as allies or oponents).
Who will take this action?*
The system will be designed for the average citizen to engage and take direct action over the legislative process – rather than just monitoring it. But as we will develop more sophisticated technologies to report these data, it can be used by many NGOs and social movements for advocacy, lobbying and driving change. Finally, it will be open equally to the Councilors themselves, who will be able to use the platform as a space to debate public matters with citizens.
How will you get the data?*
During the past few years, we’ve been working hard to make more data avaliable in open data standards. One of the areas that improved the most was the legislative scene, with Federal Congress (both the Senate and House of Representatives) opening up their databases. A few months ago, the city council of São Paulo started releasing data in XML format that will make this project possible. Recently we’ve run a hackaton inside the City Coucil that helped releasing another few datasets and creating some apps that will further help to develop our work. There are still inaccessible data which we’ll scrape or crowdsource – by partnering up with parlimeantary monitoring organizations such as Voto Consciente and Adopt an Aldermand.
How will you get data to those who will use it?*
Among other things, by creating a series of web widgets that can be embeded both in blogs and social networks. W alsoe plan to partner with tradicional parlimentary monitoring organization and run some ‘hack the law’ hackfests so we can get both feedback for the system design and also actual use cases for it in different subjects. Finally we’re developing with a small open source thermal printer ( http://tiny.cc/printr ) that can print summaries of the legislative work daily so we can get this information avaliable on the ground. This will be given for a few organizations/public spaces so we can test the concept.
How will you make these data understandable?*
We’ll highlight invisible parts of the process and connections that are hard to find traditionally. What other projects those this councilment works with? Who did finance his campaign? How many days are left for him to give his report on the project?
By exposing the workflow of the law-making process and anticipating the next steps – where is it going to be, when and with whom – we can actually plan ahead and either talk to the right people,raise awareness or send in comments and ideas.
For this we’ll need a deep analysis of the city council guidelines, the document that actually rules how this works and which is usually torn apart by experienced councilmen while we just stand and watch without understanding how those decisions came to be.
How will you overcome barriers to your ideas succeeding?*
We’ll work together both with the city council and local NGOs so we can better understand – and learn how to explain – the law-making process.
Whenever it is possible we’ll reuse existing open source technology and all our results will be released in the same way so that we can build a thriving community.
By running the local hackfests we can engage people who are deeply concerned and want to help but are not really tech-savvy people.
Finally we’ll use a agile development method which allows us to quickly test new ideas before wasting a long time and energy.
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