Our friends over at mySociety – the brains behind some of Britain’s best known transparency and democracy websites, like TheyWorkForYou, WriteToThem and the excellent FixMyTransport – seem to have been incredibly busy recently, so here’s a quick update on their latest developments:

  • They’ve just hosted AlaveteliCon, a conference dedicated to users of Alaveteli, a piece of specialist software designed to make freedom of information requests easier for citizens. Requests and their responses are logged online for all to see. This was the first time that Alaveteli users came together to share experiences and exchange ideas. To date, more than 100,000 requests in five different jurisdictions have been made.
  • The mySociety team have now developed guides for non-technical audiences on both Alaveteli and the software behind FixMyStreet, which allows citizens to report problems in their local communities, which are then automatically forwarded to the body responsible for fixing them. The production of these easy-to-read guides is a great way of encouraging the technology, transparency and service delivery communities to work together to achieve long-term, sustainable change. The guide for Alaveteli can be found here, while the FixMyStreet guide can be found here.
  • Be sure to keep your eye on DIY.mySociety.org, as they’ll be publishing a steady stream of interesting articles over the next few weeks for non-technical audiences. The DIY mySociety project offers support and guidance to organisations wishing to set up their own versions of mySociety sites such as FixMyStreet or WhatDoTheyKnow.

If you’d like to know more about our work with mySociety or if you’re thinking of implementing similar projects somewhere in Africa, then we’d be very keen to hear from you. Visit our Contact Page for details of how to get in touch.