Starting from 1 April 2013, the Southeast Asia Technology and Transparency Initiative (SEATTI) officially invites civil society organizations in the Southeast Asia region, particularly from Indonesia and the Philippines, to submit their Expressions of Interest (EoI) in promoting the use of technology to enhance transparency in public institutions.
The initiative, which is a joint collaboration of Hivos and Omidyar Network, was established to support civil society organizations in empowering citizens in Southeast Asia to use technology and media as tools to keep their public institutions transparent and accountable.
According to Programme Manager Shita Laksmi, SEATTI was established as a response to the Open Government Partnership, an international transparency and accountability initiative set up in 2011, of which both Indonesia and the Philippines are founders. While mainly working in Indonesia and the Philippines, Laksmi explained SEATTI will also support initiatives from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar, when possible.
For SEATTI, Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a key enabler for citizens and civil society organisations. It can provide large amounts of information in suitable forms on demand and in real time to many people at once. Both Hivos and SEATTI believe that open access to information and transparent systems will increase the public’s knowledge of government activities. leading to a more informed and engaged citizenry – citizens who are able and willing to keep their public institutions transparent and accountable. Greater accountability also brings more integrity to the political process and bolsters the effectiveness of representative government as a force for improving the quality of people’s lives.
SEATTI is managed from the Hivos Southeast Asia Regional Office in Jakarta, Indonesia, and will be implemented from 1 April 2013 to 30 June 2015. The initiative is committed to support innovative ideas on the following issues:
- budget tracking of national and sub-national administrations
- election/ parliamentarian monitoring
- service delivery
SEATTI will conduct a competitive grant making mechanism. Each year, SEATTI will support approximately seven initiatives with a maximum programme period of two years. The support ranges from USD 10,000 to USD 100,000 and is open to non-profit, media, scientific and educational institutions. SEATTI also encourages linkages between civil society groups and its respective stakeholders and facilitates a technology and transparency knowledge online network.
Hivos supports SEATTI because we believe that open access to information and transparency – the free flow of information from policy makers to their citizens – is necessary for people to be fully engaged in the democratic process and to help end corruption and engender accountability in leadership.