An app for smartphones that sends us information about the new laws in Peru, who worked on them, and how are they beneficial for us.
For this project, I wanted to figure out how can Government Data contribute to government´s stability in South America because it would shed light on the larger question of how to promote an effective dialogue between the government and its citizens.
My hypothesis was that: to have access in a simple and intuitive manner to government data improves the quality of democracy and consequently contributes to the government stability.
I’ve always felt really intrigue in understanding how people communicate. For example: Why are there people more capable of changing someone’s mind with their own ideas? Why are there people more easily influenced than others? How do we create conversations in a world where everybody has a different opinion? And definitely because of the way our world is structured, how do we create a conversation between individuals that have different levels of access to decision making in a country?
We design technology to improve dialogue between people but we never go back to the most basic idea of dialogue, the one that exists even before talking about apps, user interfaces or lines of code.
Many years ago, cafés were a place of discussion on important topics: politics, how we want to see society, how we want to develop as a country, but not only cafés, but libraries, student centers and so on. Nowadays, in many countries and situations we can hardly find dialogue opportunities. For example, in countries like Peru, political parties do not represent anybody anymore, there is no place to mobilize ideas, train leaders or future politicians or even to form ideas for the political agenda. Governments communicate with the citizens in a traditional manner through consultations, including election, which is a long, complex and expensive process that involve consulting with all the citizens. Therefore, this is no longer a useful tool for a citizen to supervise in a way or another our country leaders’ performance.
Dialogue is the only tool we have to settle conflicts peacefully, but this is not an idea as old as the very same idea of democracy which we have not evolved that much with. The big modern problem of dialogue is slowness. And because of this, How efficient is this in our present world? How can we use technology to create a mechanism that will help improve the dialogue between two parties that are usually conflictive? For example, the government and the citizens.
CONGRESO DE LA REPÚBLICA is an app for smartphones, that could also be adapted as an SMS based system for rural populations where there is no use of smartphones, that sends us information about our new laws, who worked on them, and how are they beneficial for us. This could represent the first step to have informed citizens and to start creating a dialogue between us and our representatives.
This system would include a feedback option where citizens could send opinions, rank the information they receive and even choose in a more personalized way which are his/her interests of topics or where do he/she lives, they could receive information based on that.