Sinar Project

Sinar Project

Project Summary

The Sinar Project is an initiative using open technology and applications to systematically make important information public and more accessible to the Malaysian people. The Project aims to improve governance and encourage greater citizen involvement in the public affairs of the nation by making the Malaysian Government more open, transparent and accountable.

Background

Government in Malaysia lacks transparency and accountability which curtails a proper working democracy for policy and citizen involvement which requires open and free access to data and information. While Internet usage as percentage of population has rapidly increased [1]
there are very few resources of on-line data and information related to governance such as budget expenditure, assets of those holding political office, crime, environment, local council issues, parliamentary bills etc are available to the public [2]. The information that is available, is not accessible in structured open standard formats usable by citizens and users such as journalists and developers who need to build tools to facilitate interoperable access for the public and other developers.

[1] http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=it_net_user_p2&idim=country:MYS&dl=en&hl=en&q=malaysia+internet+usage

[2]
http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=37005:emulate-uk-cops-detailed-statistics-on-crimes&Itemid=2

Justification

This project nominated to the ISIF Asia award because…

Through our work, we are recognized as one of the leaders in South East Asia for open governance and tech for rights. Our initial parliamentary representative information project was used as a key public resource for the last and lessons learned from that are now being fed back into international development collaboration effort of Poplus. Our anti-corruption work is also feeding into Poplus and initial efforts have been cited in multiple local anti-corruption forums. In addition we have used the additional human resources and infrastructure capacity made available via ISIF grants to assist in tech for rights efforts where needed beyond our scope of work such as civil society online tech training and investigating Internet censorship issues in Malaysia. Our Internet censorship investigations have led us to be even featured on BBC News.

Team

Objectives

* Provide Open Data Service and API for governance information
* Build on-line /mobile tools to make crowd sourced information easy to use,
access, and share for both users and developers
* Increase citizen participation in public affairs of nation
* Engage and education government agencies on importance of making data available via open standards API and formats.
* Setup and build capacity for a non-profit with a highly technical team to take advantage of modern Internet technologies.

Technical details and contribution to innovation

* Poplus.org components
* Semantic Web
* JSON/CSV export via REST of data by all outputs
* Various open source software technologies, languages, frameworks, libraries including but not limited to Python, Ruby, PHP, Apache, Nginx, Pandas, R, R Studio, Plone, Sinatra, PostGIS, PostgreSQL, Zope/Plone and Pyramid
* Use and integration of data with existing collaborative on-line platforms such as CrowdMap, OpenSpending.org and Google Docs/Fusion

Activities

- MyMP wiki of CV and background of parliamentary represenatives
- Scraper tools to make available Construction Projects, Consumer Price Index and Parliamentary Bills
- Adapted UK's Fixmystreet for Malaysia including addition of 4 local council boundaries, Google Maps geocoding and integration fixes.
- Multiple talks to increase awareness of need of tech for rights and open government to different audiences (journalists, students, government and civil society)
- From lessons learned from implementing initial ISIF Grant projects, collaborated with MySociety to provide inputs for Poplus open governance software components. Currently in a few Poplus committees as one of the few Asia-Paccific representative.

Outcomes

- MyMP database of represenatives http://reps.sinarproject.org
- API of People/Organizations with Popit instance (Poplus Component) and inputs for issues with this component + Popolo standard http://people.popit.sinarproject.org/
- Cleaned up database in CSV format as well as example data analysis for Construction Projects from government webiste http://www.sinarproject.org/projects/construction-industry-development-board-cidb-database
- AduanKu.my (My Complaint) FixMyStreet localized implementation for Malaysia, with 4 local councils and 2 additional ones being added.
- BillWatcher parliamentary bills http://billwatcher.sinarproject.org/
- Accountable http://accountable.sinarproject.org corruption tracking site, from which successor Track-It is being proposed as component.

Publications and dissemination efforts

- Social Media
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/101396658148522528050/posts
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/322921234428132/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sinarproject
- Public Kanban Board https://trello.com/b/XmU1958r/sinar-projects-public
- UndiMsia Youth Meetups https://plus.google.com/101396658148522528050/posts/NiGFa3aWpD7
- Talks at Data Journalism events http://www.sinarproject.org/blog/8th-annual-forum-of-emerging-leaders-in-asian-journalism
- Barcamp https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Rum503hlQq0HNKAc9aBhHyI_eurVSbrcl9bkVgSoElE/edit#slide=id.g385cbc555_050

Awards and distinctions

None

Website

http://sinarproject.org

profile or page from the organization or project leader

https://www.facebook.com/groups/322921234428132/

profile from the organization or project leader

http://twitter.com/sinarproject

profile from the organization or project leader

https://plus.google.com/101396658148522528050

Project Representative

Mohd Khairil bin Mohd Yusof

Project Representative on

https://www.linkedin.com/in/khairil

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