Project Details

A mySociety gathering


Prefab transparency tools

By Ciudadano Inteligente

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @poplusproject

Organisations Involved Ciudadano Inteligente (@ciudadanoi)
Ciudadano Inteligente (@ciudadanoi)

  • Open Source
  • Physical Computing
  • Social Software

Poplus is an international federation and suite of transparency tools, founded on the premise that while the world has 195 countries and governments – it doesn’t need 195 different versions of technology to hold those countries’ governments to account.

The global network of coders and transparency activists was launched by leading Latin American activist umbrella organisation Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente and the UK’s mySociety at a conference in Santiago in April 2014 that was attended by delegates from 27 countries.

Poplus’s delivers its mission very simply: through events and a mailing list (free and open to anyone) it is building a global network who will together make and share the key components required for 21st century accountability.

These digital democratic building blocks are designed to be easy-to-use, open-source and importantly are interoperable, so they can adapt to individual political systems.

Tom Steinberg, founder of mySociety, whose successful e-democracy websites include FixMyStreet and TheyWorkForYou says they launched the project out of frustration: ‘Right now what we see is colossal amounts of time and money wasted as people in different countries create the same thing time and time again, in a field that isn’t really rich enough to afford much waste. To take £10,000 each time and spend it developing the same thing is just terrible. We want more tools in the hands of more people making more of a difference: we want people to reuse and recycle technology that is collaboratively built.’

One of the first tools they’ve created is SayIt, a free open source tool through which you can publish transcripts of Parliamentary and other national and local political meetings, and the Poplus suite also features prefab software on mapping jurisdictional boundaries, posting transcripts and statements, and contacting public officials.

Image 'Mysociety Jan09 Away Weekend' courtesy of Manar Hussain

Last updated: 04th of July, 2014

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