Tin Geber from The Engine Room on POINT 4.0 Conference presented the Matchbox – a place where transparency and responsibility advocates can get a direct support. The panel was moderated by Milena Gvozdenović from the Centre for Democratic Transition of Montenegro.
The Engine Room is, as Tin says, an NGO for NGOs that provides strategic and material support for organizations that want to work on projects of transparency and responsibility. Currently they are implementing projects in Latin America and South Africa.
In Latin America and South Africa there is a great interest for projects of transparency and responsibility, but the concept of open source is widespread as well, so the two regions are very interesting for Matchbox, says Tin in a conversation after the presentation, and added that in the future they want to turn their focus on Balkan as well.
Matchbox represents a programme that connects organisations with other organisations that work on similar projects, but also experts on the field in which they operate.
Tin said that currently they are dealing with the projects in Mexico, Argentina, Namibia and Zimbabwe, where they work on project of monitoring of state of water via WhatsApp.
Through his work, as Tin emphasizes, Matchbox learned many things regarding the needs of organisations and journalists dealing with transparency and responsibility advocacy, but also about the manner in which information and open databases are used.
“Usage of technology in every aspect eases the work of organisations and increases their capacities, but also the way in wich they are used is important, as to make it a tool that eases and not hardens their work” , emphasized Geber.
What Matchbox propagates in their work is more use of local funds and capacities in projects and work of organisations, and it is very important to know who is the target audience while creating projects.
Talking about the use of information, Tin said that data is information related to human beings, and in that sense a very important aspect is privacy protection, but also security of all those dealing with publication and distribution of such data. Tin emphasized the importance of open source technologies that are compatible with the concept of transparency and responsibility.
In their work, organisations first must know what they want to change and what processes they want to influence with their work so that afterwards they can do brainstorming sessions, but he once again highlighted the importance of defining target audience. “Planning is very important, so is defining of necessary expertise for assistance in project implementation”, said Tin.
Visualization of information is also very important tool of advocacy, but it is also important it is not too complicated.