|Project title||Follow the taxpayer's money: transferring know-how from atlatszo.hu watchdog NGO to non-profit and non-governmental organisations, political blogs and activist networks|
|Thematic area||Human rights and democracy|
|Name of the organization||Asimov Foundation|
|Postal address||1531 Budapest, Pf. 54/1|
|Project manager||Szalai Ferenc Attila|
|Project timeframe||October 1st, 2013 - February 1st, 2016|
|Amount of support||105,897 €|
The project aims to promote the KiMitTud.org freedom of information request generator (based on alaveteli.org) and the watchdog methodology developed by atlatszo.hu investigative journalism NGO to members of civil society such as independent local news portal sites, weblogs, activist Facebook communities and specialist NGOs, and provide them research assistance and legal support in their court procedures to obtain public data withheld by state-run institutions. As a result the organisation will have powerful tools to transfer a methodology capable to generate community involvement and civic activity. Organisations receiving this methodology will be more effective and successful to support Hungarian citizen’s right to informed decision making and to enforce freedom of information principles on state-run institutions. They provide hands on workshops, substantial professional mentorship and extra publicity to the selected causes in collaboration with atlatszo.hu during the project.
Results and Successes
Our workshop on public data request proved to be the most efficient tool to achieve the above objectives. In the programme we customized the scope of knowledge transfer, took the programme to the offices of various organizations and groups, ensuring the efficiency of the training: e.g. in response to demands, the objectives of the workshop developed for high schools include education for democracy, facilitating conscious media consumption and citizenship as well as teaching investigative reporting techniques.
We provided legal assistance for organizations involved in the programme, we had about four times the workshops we had planned, and together with K-Monitor and Transparency International we held an organization development and fundraising workshop as well. Moreover, due to the high rate of interest we made our training available for further organizations and organized a road show, where we had on-site trainings at events both in Budapest and in the countryside. In the summer period these on-site workshops and open presentations were the most effective tools, topics aimed at younger generations and requiring a more active participation were favoured (investigative reporting techniques), while initial workshops were also held for a wider audience.
We had a promotional campaign for the request of public data (articles about specific data requesting cases on the Átlátszó blog, Facebook posts), and we increased the number of data owners on our site KiMitTud, so that users can reach state and municipality institutions, authorities and business ventures more easily than ever. Due to the Átlátszónet programme and the promotion of the online data requesting option available for every citizen, on our site KiMitTud, launched in 2013 there have been more than 3000 data requests submitted by people interested in public affairs.
The success of the programme can be most easily measured by the fact that public data requests have become part of the life of more and more people. At the same time it has become increasingly natural for data owners to answer these requests.
The project in numbers:
- 18 workshops
- 13 presentations
- legal counselling (10 hours/week), 18 KiMitTud cases submitted for legal proceedings
- 1 organization development workshop
-1 fundraising workshop
-1 presentation as part of the Transparency International Academy course
- 239 new data owners
- 3,392 new data requests through KiMitTud
- a total of 5,392 data requests