Our website is called Jarokelo.hu; the name means ‘passerby’ in the Hungarian language. On the website Budapest (Hungary) citizens can report problems with photos to their local municipality. We plan to introduce an Android mobile application to the website to make the submission of the complaints easier, as the easiest way to take and send photos should be with a mobile device which is always with the ‘passersby’. We also would like to hold two workshops for journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists to help the creation of local stories based on the complaints sent through Jarokelo.hu.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
We would like to work together with ordinary citizens, local bloggers and journalists–especially those who cover one district in the city, since often a specific coverage or story is more important to a smaller community.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Based on the reports posted on the website local stories can be developed; in many cases it is not only a pothole that is visible on a photo but a more complex problem which can be investigated by locals who know to whom they should pose more questions or where they should go to take more photos. We imagine blog posts (articles and digital stories) and short social media reports (Twitter, Tumblr) created with the site's materials. The stories will first be published on Jarokelo.hu’s blog.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
We have invited Dávid Zubrecki, one of Hungary’s most popular bloggers (http://urbanista.blog.hu) on urban development issues to hold sessions where he would talk about how to create and curate stories in the Hungarian blogosphere. In addition to this we are planning to contact district level media outlets and recommend them to re-post or share the stories published Jarokelo.hu’s blog.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
In addition to the mobile app development, our plan is to hold two two-day workshops, expecting ca. 40 participants; preferably one person at least from each Budapest district (there are 23 of them).
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Mobile application development: The aim of the application is to create an alternative platform for the users of Jarokelo.hu who would like to report a problem and send a photo from their mobile device. An important focus of the application is to allow the users to share their complaints on social media networks.
Training: The workshops will focus on how ‘digital raw material’ like photos, audio recordings etc. can be created, collected and put together into a digital story with the use of blogs and popular social media services in Hungary.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We would like to rent a computer room with at least 20 computers (approx. internet connection speed: ). But as the training focuses on the development of stories created with the devices citizens already have (mobile phone, camera, laptop or desktop computer) the use of their own equipment is strongly encouraged therefore we plan to do a survey on the participants preferences to use their own devices at the workshops, and change the size of the computer room accordingly.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
Jarokelo.hu was launched in October, 2012 in order to promote citizen participation at the local level, the website is a source of diverse local stories as the complaints filed cover from a wide range of issues. The coordinator of the project has worked as a trainer in digital storytelling and wrote several posts on Global Voices about the use of social media in Hungary. This way the proper source of stories to curate, and the knowledge to transfer is present at our organization.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
A specific challenge in the region is the communication with local authorities and local government bodies, as they are not service oriented, any author to a local story might face difficulties in obtaining a quote or response to the problem they would like to cover. Therefore the citizen media workshops need also to focus on the communication with responsible authorities, and on online advocacy to hold these authorities accountable for not replying to citizens’ complaints.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
With the help of the participants we would like to increase the number of (solved) complaints sent via Jarokelo.hu and its mobile app to the local governments. This we can measure through our website’s stats which are available real-time on Jarokelo.hu. A sign of a successful project would also be coverage re-published on local media websites. A successful workshop is also important to us because of the knowledge transfer between our partner organization in Slovakia (Slovak Governance Institute) which originally developed the system of our website.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
May, 2013 to September, 2013: mobile application development, development of curriculum
August, 2013: two weekends of workshops to be held (the beta testing of the app should be started by this time to allow us using it at the workshops)
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Mobile application development: 2100 USD (based on previous inquiry into available options; we chose to develop for the Android platform because of its higher popularity in Hungary than any other mobile OS)
Rent of computer room (4 days): 840 USD (based on previous inquiry into available options)
Coordinator and workshop trainer expenses (1 person): 500 USD
Workshop trainer expenses (1 person): 500 USD
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
We imagine that the type of issues we are dealing with are quite common everywhere, we would like to do an exchange of local stories from other countries about how citizens themselves had a problem solved by speaking out for their neighbourhood, be the story related to roads, environment or languages. Stories inspirational to Hungarian citizens to take the first step as citizen journalists. In addition to this, if Rising Voices can help us find volunteer mobile app developers that might decrease the needed budget or allow us to build in more features in the app.
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