Civic Tech Monthly, November 2015

Welcome to the tenth edition of Civic Tech Monthly. Below you’ll find news and notes about civic tech from Australia and around the world.

This will likely be our last newsletter of 2015. Thanks to everyone who has submitted items throughout the year and thank you for reading. In this edition we’ve got a few of local events and bits of news, some interesting research, some useful tech from this side of the globe, and more.

As always we’d love to see you at the OpenAustralia Foundation Sydney Pub Meet next Tuesday in Sydney.

If you know someone who’d like this newsletter, pass it on:

News and Notes

We’re having an end of year party in Sydney

It’s been a busy year for the OpenAustralia Foundation. To celebrate our achievements, and all of you who have helped us on the way, we’re going to have a little party on Sunday, the 6th of December. It’ll be pretty low key and casual (what else?). We’re going to head to lovely Bicentennial Park on the Glebe foreshore and hang out from 11:00 and enjoy some sunshine, a drink, and something to eat.

We’d love for you to join us. Please come along any time after 11:00. BYO food and drinks. RSVP on the Meetup page.

There’s a hackathon to help refugees in Sydney

The Techfugees Australia Hackathon is happening next weekend in Sydney on the 28th and 29th of November. It’s billed as the Sydney tech community’s response to the current refugee crisis involving a network of concerned individuals and inspired by recent similar events in Europe.

It’s great to see that the event has partnered with organisations that will describe the challenges they face to participants. This makes it far more likely that the solutions developed will be for real problems and will hopefully see real world use.

If you want to use your civic tech skills for good, register soon as there’s only a few places left.

Australian Government finally commits to finalising OGP membership

It’s been a long and often rocky journey but the Australian Government has finally committed to finalising its membership of the Open Government Partnership. Now the real hard work can begin, starting with the development of a national action plan for open government.

Congratulations to the people working behind the scenes to make this happen. And thanks to Peter Timmins for tirelessly keeping us up to date with the latest developments over at his blog, Open and Shut.

It’s all go on They Vote For You

From time to time we get an email from the offices of Members or Senators that ask us to change their voting record on They Vote For You in some way because they think it’s inaccurate. But when we ask them to tell us what the error is, we don’t hear back from them again. Recently we got an email that was refreshingly helpful and we’ve even made some changes thanks to it.

We’ve also got a call out for people that want to help make our parliament more open by contributing to They Vote For You – get in touch if you’re interested.

Civic tech: Would use again

mySociety have released some early findings from their research into the impact of civic technology. It’s definitely work a look. We’ve been participating in this research and can’t wait to see more of it so it can help inform the work we do.

Hackpad to SayIt importer

We recently heard about this tool that could be a really great way of creating and publishing transcripts. For example, you could use it to transcribe your local council’s meeting on a Hackpad and then have it published in a really nice way using SayIt.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on!

Audrey Tang, Brilliant Programmer, “Hacks” Politics in Taiwan

Audrey is the person that wrote the above tool we just mentioned. This translated interview with her is a really interesting story of one person’s journey to creating civic tech.

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