Text by: Alicja Peszkowska
Point 3.0 (use #POINT30 to follow) kicked off this morning with a moment of silence for the victims of the floods in BiH, Croatia and Serbia. Tijana Cvjetićanin from Zasto ne presented a flood map set ad hoc using the Ushahidi platform in the face of the state helplessness. The platform aims to map floods and network people who need or can offer help. Darko Brkan, Zasto ne’s president welcomed everyone at the conference, which is a 3rd POINT Conference already. More than 4 countries from the region were represented in the first run of presentations, but many more nationalities have gathered today in Art Kino Kriterion. “POINT has always been about sharing regionally and beyond” — Darko said. This year it will also provide a chance for a hands on support to those suffering from the floods.
The map’s primary purpose is to connect people so that they can support each other and visualize — name and track the scale of the disaster. It can also be used to fight the stealing and robbing of aid through the process of collecting and verifying reported information. When reporting, please answer the “what, where and when happened” question; specify what kind of help is needed, it is crucial so that we can connect the dots of demand and supply in the best possible way.
Apart from solidarity and transparency of what is happening it also is about holding people accountable. “We all gave up on the state coordinating anything on the first day”. During the next few days we will use the opportunity of the POINT 3.0 conference to launch a website aggregating important information concerning flood and campaign for money and inkind support from both big corporations and politicians who are getting ready for the upcoming elections (when tweeting about the floods please use #POPLAVA hashtag).
We have already heard 5 presentations covering innovative use of engaging citizens (Sanja Bojanic from the UNDP Montenegro, Lejla Sadiku from UNDP Kosovo, and Abetare Gojani from Ipko Foundation in Kosovo), analyzing data concerning people’s attitudes and fact-checking media (Kemal Kostrebic from Valicon BiH and Filip Stojanovski from Methamorphosis Foundation in Macedonia).
At the first panel discussion called “Open/Closed: Government and Citizens” “Open/Closed. Citizens and their Givernments” wguests representing Open Government Partnership (Arnout van de Vaart), BiH (Maja Brankovic, Transparency International and Darko Brkan, Zasto ne), Croatia (Anto Bajo, Institute for Public Finances) and Poland (Krzysztof Izdebski, Watchdog Poland) discussed how governments need to be proactively transparent. Panelists coming from BiH (Darko Brkan), The discussion was moderated by Nermina Voloder from Analitika BiH. Opening the government takes much more than simply opening the data, even though the first step itself poses huge challenges . Changing the attitude and getting citizens truly engaged is the key, but we can’t pretend we don’t have a long way to go.
There are still 2 days of POINT 3.0 ahead of us. Join us in virtually!Stay tuned for the updates on the blog and follow #POINT30 for the “newest news”, watch the live stream here: https://point.zastone.ba/live-stream-2/