Civic tech initiative using tech, data and policy analysis to systematically make info accessible
We work on applying and contributing back to the implementation of open data and technical standards, in politically and technically constrained environments across regions and sectors. We do this in a collaborative manner locally and internationally, between both technical and non-technical partners. This includes work on applying open data standard and NLP for legislative access in Malaysia and Myanmar. Anti-corruption and transparency with joined-up data for media and civil society actors. We also apply less sophisticated technical measures to make hidden or suppressed data and information on marginalised communities more accessible, so such communities are empowered with data evidence on these issues. The digital nature of this work, also means we deal with issues around digital access and censorship, including in the intersection of traditional methods such as social audits with civil society contributed open data and network interference measurements.
Policy recommendations around technical standards and solutions are often driven by ideal situations of more democratically and technically developed countries. This leads to situations of assumptions where solutions are only possible when such an ideal situation such as widespread data availability and access or free speech is available, and local inputs into technical standards are excluded. For example, governments are the only publishers of open data or assuming research has already been done for AI/NLP could be easily be applied, when the data needed to train AI or language support is still not available yet. Our work provides a bridge to allow more advanced technical developments to still be applied in constrained environments, providing important feedback and contributions back from these communities that include additional use cases and issues faced by them.