2018/09/18: Kosovo is currently facing severe economic challenges. It is one of the poorest countries in Europe, and its unemployment rate has reached as high as 30%. Studies show that up to 57.7% of young people are unable to find a job. (In an extreme case, some 300 Kosovars went overseas to join ISIS.) According to a 2016 survey, up to half of Kosovars wish to ‘go westward’ and emigrate to countries in Western Europe.
From this backdrop spawned Open Data Kosovo, a civic technology organization which believes that the push for reform must continue after independence for a ‘good country’ to truly be born. “People are expected to follow the new constitution, but they don’t criticize what [this new country] lacks,” said Blerta Thaci, CEO of Open Data Kosovo. “In consequence, changing the status quo is but our own duty.”
2018/09/20: it is incumbent on the civic technology community to navigate these challenges and assume their duty to democracy, as their "public work," to deliver truly empowering technology.
Participatory democracy also demands that citizens hold these engineers and designers accountable for this responsibility, forming another virtuous cycle.
It's day two at the Code for America Training. Before we can find new kinds of solutions, it's imperative we understand how cities work now, how to champion...
[I]n contrast with the deluge of blog posts and tweets praising technology's role to promote smarter and more participatory governments, one finds limited evidence on the effects of technology on citizen engagement practices." - Tiago Carneiro Peixoto