Government hacking prize offered

2012-08-02 14:04
The Open Data and Democracy Initiative is offering a prize for software to make the government more accountable. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Open Data and Democracy Initiative is offering a prize for software to make the government more accountable. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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VIDEO: Democracy action

2012-08-02 13:20

Accountability and responsibility to act on citizen's needs is a vital characteristic in a functioning democracy, political analyst Professor Steven Friedman says in the YouTube video. WATCH

Cape Town - The Open Data and Democracy Initiative is offering web gurus R25 000 in prizes to write software that will make government officials more accountable.

The Code4Democracy event kicks off in Cape Town on Friday and runs for the weekend.

"Participants will get access to previously difficult to find databases, including the national and Cape Town budgets, salary scales for politicians, health data, and contact information for constituency representatives to use as 'feedstock' for their hackathon ideas," organiser Justin Arenstein said.

The event is open to developers, designers, activists and journalists and the idea is to create a more transparent government by empowering ordinary citizens with web tools.

This programme mirrors the Ushahidi crowd-sourcing platform in Kenya that created to map the reported incidents of violence happening during the post-election crisis in the country.

Founder Eric Hersman said that crowd-sourcing platforms had the ability to hold governments accountable.

"As the web expands with these tools, states start losing power and depending on the country you're in, when the operator in the pocket of the government, you in trouble," he told News24.

Participants for the Code4Democracy event can register on the website and attendees are able to submit or view data prior to the occasion.


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