Five winners of NDI’s 2013 Democracy Award gathered at the Institute yesterday for a panel discussion about how technology can be used to improve the way governments and citizens interact.
Honorees Belabbés Benkredda, founder of the Munathara Initiative, a Tunisia-based debating forum; Swati Ramanathan, co-founder of Janaagraha, an Indian nonprofit that crowdsources corruption reports from citizens; Ginny Hunt, strategy principal for Google’s Civics Team in the U.S.; Vukosava Crnjanski Sabovic, founder and director of the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability in Serbia; and Gregor Hackmack, co-founder of Parliament Watch in Germany, shared how each of their organizations are finding new ways to increase citizen participation and hold governments accountable.
From mapping corruption and making election information easily available to holding parliamentarians accountable to their words, the panelists have found creative ways to use technology to enhance democratic participation. They discussed the power of technology to connect people, but also acknowledged challenges facing digital democracy, such as unequal access to technology, and how these issues can be addressed.
The discussion was moderated by Alex Howard, former Washington correspondent for O’Reilly Media and a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Ash Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Published Dec. 12, 2013