On July 20-21, SCS Honduras’ ComunicAcción Ciudadana project, which enhances the capacity of civil society and media to influence government decision making on anticorruption and transparency issues, participated in the Honduras Digital Challenge’s (HDC) “Demo Day” at the University of San Pedro Sula (USAP). The HDC is an annual national competition in Honduras that promotes the use of ICT to address various issues that affect citizens throughout the country.
In partnership with the competition’s private-sector organizer Banco Atlantida, SCS Honduras incorporated the topic of transparency into the annual competition. Competitors in the “Using Technology in Support of Transparency” category presented their digital applications (apps) and were evaluated by international technology experts, including Christian Anker from Chile, Juan I. Pane from Paraguay, and Juan I. Belbis from Argentina.
Out of eight competing teams, there were two winners:
- The creators of the Observatory of Power platform, won first place with their digital platform, which provides legislative information to citizens to strengthen government accountability and facilitate citizen participation.
- The creators of the web and mobile platform Raise Your Voice—which promotes citizen reporting on issues that affect their neighborhoods and municipalities through the uploading of pictures of the issues—won second place.
Following the competition, Banco Atlantida and ComunicAcción Ciudadana provided the winners with equipment and technical training and sent them to Ecuador to attend Abrelatam, an international conference on open data and open government. At Abrelatam, the winners were able to meet other app developers from throughout Latin America who are focused on combatting corruption and promoting transparency in their own countries, join existing regional networks, gain insight from other contexts, and meet with experts in their field to discuss development of their apps and learn ways to promote the app and utilize the data they collect and share on their platforms.
In September, the Raise Your Voice team presented their app to the municipal government in Siguatepeque to promote its use and secure local government buy-in. Local officials agreed to contribute municipal information and consult for the development of the app so it can be pilot tested in their municipality. Multiple attempts by the Raise Your Voice team to meet with Siguatepeque officials to discuss the app had been unsuccessful prior to winning the HDC and receiving support from ComunicAcción Ciudadana. The Observatory of Power team has developed its web platform and plans to debut it in December 2019. The platform will allow citizens to view information on legislative decisions by members of Congress and write to representatives to request information. Observatory of Power will also publish monthly reports on laws that were passed and representatives who voted for and against that legislation.
ComunicAcción Ciudadana will continue to support both apps by promoting their use among CSO and media partners and will continue to explore partnerships with the developers for future activities that promote citizen participation for transparency and anti-corruption in Honduras. SCS Honduras is implemented by FHI 360 in partnership with International Center for Not-for-Profit Law and Internews.