Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V.
Local budgets shape people’s everyday lives from spending on schools to public transportation. However, there is little clarity on where municipalities spend money on. Most citizens don't know their communities' budget. The platform “OffenerHaushalt” visualises and clearly presents local budgets. Around this platform, we work on bringing together a community comprised of engaged citizens, local activists, developers and civil servants who want to make local budgets transparent.
10 cities in Germany, among them 5 cities in the Ruhr area, and for now Hamburg, Berlin and Potsdam.
"OffenerHaushalt" will strengthen democracy by empowering citizens to use budget and spending data for their cause. Budgets are essential to politics, they translate priorities into concrete questions of resource allocation. To effectively take the stage, citizens need to understand budgets.
"OffenerHaushalt" will create a workshop series that connects citizens, developers, activists and civil servants. We will co-create materials for the community to use in local politics, and we will support advocating financial transparency for democratic participation.
The workshop series and the community will be co-created in existing local civic tech labs, with a focus on the Ruhr area. This helps empowering the participants to use financial data in local democratic debates.
Phase 1: Research and Mobilisation of local context, issues and data, and stakeholders.
Phase 2: Workshops in 10 cities and creating a curriculum.
Phase 3: Forming a community to achieve impact on local democratic participation.
Caring for democracy and participation, I studied and worked in India, Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany, focusing on transparency and advocacy. In my opinion, financial transparency and budgetary understanding form the bedrock of democracy and participation because they make politics concrete.
The workshops and the community help bringing together local civil society with developers and civil servants on the topic of financial transparency, a notoriously complex aspect of politics. Together, they can make this information commonly understandable and therefor usable for local democracy.
For the project's development, it would be very interesting to know which topics are important for local democratic participation. As "OffenerHaushalt" will be accessible for everyone, feedback on its existing platform coming from the widespread Advocate Europe community would be truly helpful.