Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
Centre for Law and Democracy
In each participant country (selected later) we plan to find local partners. One of them will be a tech startup that works in human rights/social justice to create the app.
Almost every European country has a Right to Information (RTI) Act, an important democratic tool allowing all citizens to request the information they want from government. Too often, only experts can use these complex legal tools. Our mobile app will make learning and using RTI fun and simple for everyone. It will provide user-friendly country information about RTI, legal terms, explanations, templates for making information requests, and a forum for sharing experiences & community building.
The app will be developed separately for Georgia, Germany and 1 other country.
Accountable governance and civic engagement in decision-making remains a challenge in Europe, especially among young people. Access to information is key to civic engagement. This app will help ordinary citizens exercise their rights and form communities around them, which is vital for democracy.
A year from now, country specific mobile apps will make requesting public information as easy as it can possibly get, increasing the number of citizens exercising their right to information and allowing various age, vocational and other groups to form online communities around various causes.
We propose to create a mobile app with following features: simple country-relevant information on RTI (what is public information; how to request information; timeframes; filing complaints; templates for requests and complaints); browsing by interests/professions; forum to share experience and build communities; gaming to make learning fun. In English and local languages. While the RTI laws in different countries vary, they are similar in design so that the app would be easy to adapt.
We are professionals working on RTI in Georgia and beyond, and have often seen how the skills to get informed are limited to “expert/NGO” circles. We believe that RTI is the first step towards meaningful civic engagement, hence it should not be a privilege of some - but a right for all.
Anyone in target countries with a smartphone and internet access. The app will be useful for citizens regardless of age, profession or interests. At the same time, we expect students, journalists and civil activists to be the most interested in using the app so we will market it to them.
We would like to hear ideas about which third country to choose at the initial stage of development and how to better promote the app in each of the three.