[okfn-za] (no subject)

Justin Arenstein justinarenstein at gmail.com
Wed May 2 11:01:28 UTC 2012


Hi. We've already made some progress towards setting up a pan-African open
spending portal, with country teams already collating the national budget
data for SA, Kenya, Uganda, & Tanzania. My data editor in Nelspruit, Cobus
Coetzee, is handling the ZA national budget. Cobus, Jay (who leads the East
African teams) and OKFN's Nick Skyped earlier this week about the launch
plan / steps.

I've been chatting with Adi & ODAC about pulling together a meeting in Cape
Town when I'm there for a week between May 21 - 25 to plan for what would
effectively be the 2nd phase: creating comparable open budgets for local /
city governments in the participating countries. The suggestion was that
the OKFN chapter in Cape Town could lead the process there, in
collaboration with my team in Mpumalanga, and the other country teams.

Adi was (shout if I've mis-remembered, Adi) specifically looking for
infographic / data viz people in Cape Town to help kickstart things. We
also probably need a strong digital creative who can help us build a
compelling UI for the central portal. We want to ensure that the project
appeals to ordinary people, & that it generates substantive traffic.


Justin Arenstein*
SA Mobile: +27.82.374.0812
US Mobile: +1.650.336.5878
*KE Mobile:* +254.707.156.150
Skype: JustinArenstein
Twitter: JustinArenstein <http://twitter.com/justinarenstein>
Web: http://www.linkedin.com/in/JustinArenstein

On 2 May 2012 12:24, Carolina Ödman <carolina at odman.org> wrote:

> Dear all,
> Excellent idea! Rufus put me in touch with Lucy Chambers to start looking
> at putting the SA government budget into OpenSpending but if there  is an
> interest to do that with the Cape Town budget first, that could be a good
> place to start. What do you think?
> Cheers,
> Carolina
> On Friday, 20 April 2012, Gabriella Razzano wrote:
>> Dear All
>> ODAC is so excited about getting involved in this. I can bring pompoms
>> and narratives.
>> There is nothing we love more here in ODAC than making information
>> meaningful - I feel it's been a essential component that has been lacking
>> in the access to information activist sector for some time...
>> All the best,
>> Gabriella Razzano
>> ____________________________________
>>                               0800 52 53 52 | Helpline
>>                             27 21 461 3096 | Tel
>> http://twitter.com/odac_sa|ODAC on twitter
>> www.tinyurl.com/odacfacebook |ODAC on Facebook
>> http://www.opendemocracy.org.za | Website
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: okfn-za-bounces at lists.okfn.org [mailto:
>> okfn-za-bounces at lists.okfn.org] On Behalf Of Justin Arenstein
>> Sent: 19 April 2012 11:36 PM
>> To: Adi Eyal
>> Cc: okfn-za at lists.okfn.org
>> Subject: Re: [okfn-za] (no subject)
>> Hi everyone.
>> I'm a virtual member of the OKFN Cape Town chapter, and am the publisher
>> at AENS (which is a social justice news agency that works for everyone from
>> M&G to DailySun). I also help Google and various media / civil society
>> organisations with their open data & digital strategies.
>> Anyhow, as Adi says, we want to find more engaging and meaningful ways
>> for ordinary people to engage with government budgets. We're thinking about
>> drawing on things like the US-focused http://datavizchallenge.org/viz/56and the OKFN's own DailyBread version at
>> http://wheredoesmymoneygo.org/dailybread.html, perhaps with the ability
>> to compare your qcity's spending against those of other cities, similar to
>> this http://countysinrankings.org/.
>> Because we're not reinventing the wheel, we can have some real fun with
>> this project. And, because we're pulling in civil society and media
>> partners, we expect whatever we create to have a real world impact -- even
>> if it is just to spark debate.
>> So, as Adi says, let's get creative and make a difference.
>> Cheers,
>> Justin
>> Sent from my iPad
>> On 19 Apr 2012, at 5:48 PM, Adi Eyal <adi at burgercom.co.za> wrote:
>> > Hi All
>> >
>> > Plans are currently being hatched for the start of a collaboration
>> > between the Open Democracy Advice Centre, the African Eye News Service
>> > and (hopefully) the Cape Town chapter of the Open Knowledge
>> > Foundation.
>> >
>> > Government budgets, especially at the municipal level do their best to
>> > attract little interest from the citizens who fund them. As
>> > comprehensive as the Cape Town budget website is
>> > (http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/budget/Pages/default.aspx) - I actually
>> > have no interest in reading through what looks like thousands of pages
>> > of really boring text peppered with tables. I know that somewhere in
>> > those documents lie stories that could explain to me what the city is
>> > doing for its poor, disabled, disenfranchised not mention uptight
>> > middle-classed folk like myself. I just can't bring myself to curl
>> > around one of those bad boy documents (e.g.
>> >
>> http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/Budget/Documents/2011-12%20Final%20Main/1112Budget_ForApprovalAtCouncil_May11_inclMayorRecom.pdf
>> ).
>> >
>> > Perhaps there's another way? What if we could bring together a group
>> > of geeks, graphics people, a peppering of civil society organisations
>> > and a smattering of journalists to find those stories and present them
>> > to everyday people? We're not sure what the best format is yet, an
>> > Infographic, a mobile application, a website, a vomputer game - who
>> > knows? What we need is volunteers who have an interest in taking this
>> > forward providing whatever skills they have to offer. If you can code
>> > - bring a keyboard - if you can draw bring a pencil. If all you can do
>> > is cheer - bring your pom poms!
>> >
>> > The partnership introduced above is looking at picking stories from
>> > the budgets of the City of Cape Town and/or the Western Cape
>> > Government as well as Mbombela Local Municipality and the Mpumalanga
>> > government. If there is any interest in expanding the number of local
>> > or regional governments then we're all ears.
>> >
>> > To exhort you to action - I've found a good video on why budgets are
>> > important and why you should care http://www.youtube.com/v/7d-mSv0eSOE
>> >
>> > For now - all we need from you is an expression of interest and a
>> > suggestion for what you can bring to the party. As a group, we'll
>> > brainstorm around how
> --
> http://www.carolune.org/
> twitter: @carolune
> +27 8345 20 222
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