Open Decisions API & Open Decisions Application
 Posted on 28/03/2014 - 20:35
Idea Outline
Open Decisions API and Open Decisions Visualization App makes it easy for municipalities to publish decisions data in real-time and the social agents to receive search specific decision information online 24/7 thus increasing democratic transparency.

The Challenge
Relevant search specific municipal decisions data takes a lot of time and effort to find from the varying forms of non-machine readable documents. At times even the decision makers themselves do not have a clear understanding of the causal relations leading to current decision making agenda. Also in order for the democratic process to work, a democracy needs an enlightened electorate who can make fact based voting decisions. If the civil servants, journalists and media can not follow up on the chain of events leading to a public decision - no enlightened electorate can exist, and the lack of transparency and the lack of citizen participation in decision processes will continue beating the way for corruption, which is at 120 billion euros annually within the EU28.

The Solution

Our solution is two fold: A) The Open Decisions API is a very light, real-time decisions process publishing platform that makes decision making processes available for the general public online, in machine readable form, 24/7. B) The Decisions Visualization Application enables access to the decisions data published via the Decision API in an easy to use and comprehensive way. With the 1st call, 6k€ funding, we shall produce an English language minimum viable version of the Open Decisions product combo, which can be tested in an online environment and introduced and marketed for the International stakeholders.

Target group and social impact
The target groups are two fold as are the solutions: A) The Open Decisions API target groups are the EU28 municipal governments. We have already launched a beta test version in Helsinki and are launching another in Jyväskylä this Spring 2014. B) The early adopters of the Open Decisions Visualization Application are likely to be public decision makers, civil servants and data journalists wishing to keep track of the deliberation process of the decisions under works. Open Decisions API enables a cost effective data publishing platform also for other application developers who can further help to foster trust in the community, increase focus, save time and reduce corruption by creating new services that utilizes open decision data made available by the Open Decisions API .

Competences of the applicant
The Open Knowledge Foundation Finland's developer community and the initial principal coder Juha Yrjölä, has full capacity to deliver the Open Decision API and The Open Decisions Visualization Application. We have already helped to open the service in Helsinki and Jyväskylä, and would like to assist other municipalities in Europe to participate in the development

Video Link
None posted
Social Category
  • Civic Empowerment and Community Engagement

  • Tecnology Category
  • Data

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    Opening up the decision making is often countermanded by claiming that there are no proper tools for openly discussing complex matters. If such tool is to be created, that argument looses its weight and open decision making is easier to get through. Arguments about maintaining secrets is also altered in open decision making. For general public it's better to know that there are secrets (patents, corporate secrets, and so on...) attached to named stakeholders and the effect of them can be judged publicly. In closed decision making general public doesn't know if there are secrets not to mention the effects of such secrets.

    The problem (lack of clear understanding of the democratic decision making processes) is very relevant, the tech oriented solution (data API + visualization application) is realistic approach which can help to solve the problem. However the scale of the problem is wide and any single solution might not be enough to solve it completely. The generally recognized decision making API is good start for later developments and definitely worth doing.