[okfn-za] Elections and Politics data meet-up tomorrow night

Adi Eyal adi at code4sa.org
Thu Apr 10 10:56:50 UTC 2014

Hi All

In case you haven't heard about this meet-up read the blurb below.
It's taking place at 18:30, Friday night at Codebridge. Sign up at
this meet-up page:


South Africa has been dubbed the protest capital of the world, with
armed insurrections across the nation on a daily basis as people
become increasingly frustrated with broken promises, corruption and
poor service delivery.  But what if there is another way for citizens
to hold government to account and get their voices heard?

The Hacks/Hackers chapters in Cape Town and Johannesburg are hosting
meetups this Friday, 11 April, to showcase simple tools and data
sources that empower citizens, activists & civic watchdogs, plus
organisations like the media to hold those in power to account.

Indigo Trust's Loren Treisman will showcase some of the local projects
they've already supported, like the new People's Assembly portal, and
will also speak about how her organisation can support similar
projects in future. Code for South Africa's Adi Eyal will showcase
some of the political API "building blocks" that his team have built
to turbocharge other people's projects, such as Mail & Guardian's Know
Your Hood gadget.

 Some of the things you can already do with data, for free, with data
from the People's Assembly and politica APIs is track your MP's
performance in Parliament, see a register of their interests, find out
what committees they're involved in and what contributions they're
making to debates.  You can even follow every word being said in
parliament, track MPs responses to questions, locate their local
constituency office and find out how to engage in campaigns. The
Electoral Commission has also released a treasure trove of data that
can be used to ask important questions like: in which areas will the
election results be a close call between 2 parties? Which parties
really take gender equality seriously?  Is there a difference in
voting patterns between the old and young?

But data on its own isn't enough. We need people like YOU to turn
these rich sources of data into news stories, tools and products which
help inform the public and empower citizens to hold politicians to
account.  We also need civil society to mobilise communities and build
campaigns to make change happen.

Both Indigo Trust and the African Media Initiative offer small grants
(up to R200,000) for interesting ideas to make data come alive and
spark real change in society. Come to the meetups to hear how to be
part of the change you want to see.

The Johannesburg meetup will take place at Jozihub, at 44 Stanley, at
6.30pm on Friday, 11 April 2014. Hacks/Hackers will provide a choice
of pizzas along with soft drinks and beers.

The Cape Town meetup will take place at Codebridge, at 6.30pm on
Friday night, 11 April 2014. Hacks/Hackers will provide pizzas and
beer / wine / softdrinks.

RSVP as soon as possible to secure a seat, by emailing Siya Africa
(siyafrica at gmail.com) for Jozi, and Nqobile Buthelezi-Sibisi
(nsibisi at africanmediainitiative.org) for Cape Town.

This event is co-hosted by Code for South Africa, Hacks/Hackers, the
Indigo Trust and the African Media Initiative.


The Indigo Trust (IT) is an independent grant-making foundation which
funds technology driven projects which bring about social change in
Africa, with a special focus on transparency, innovation and citizen
empowerment.  It believes that change is most effectively stimulated
through well devised programmes, including various stakeholders (civil
society, community activists, press, techies, government etc).

The African Media Initiative (AMI) is the continent's largest umbrella
association of media owners / operators. It runs the continent's
largest digital innovation programme targeting hacktivists and
journalists, with the $1m/year African News Challenge, $1m/year
African Story Challenge, and various other funds supporting everything
from camera drone projects, to the continent's largest data liberation
and open data initiatives through Code for Africa.

IT and AMI are working together to kickstart digital activism in South
Africa. We welcome proposals from groups working together to utilise
data to stimulate community activism and create social change through
campaigns, advocacy and other well devised programmes.  Speak to each
other, share ideas and establish partnerships.  We'd love to help turn
your ideas into viable programmes.

Adi Eyal
Code for South Africa
Promoting informed decision-making

phone: +27 78 014 2469
skype: adieyalcas
linkedin: http://za.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Adi/Eyal
web: http://www.code4sa.org
twitter: @soapsudtycoon

For more information on how to participate in the open data community
in South Africa, go to: http://www.code4sa.org/#community

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