Jakarta Open Data Challenge (#HACKJAK)

May 1, 2014

The Hackathon Jakarta (#HACKJAK) challenge may be over, but Jakartans will soon reap its benefit. The event is the first of its kind, using data opened up by the local government of Jakarta and inviting application developers to create and develop apps based on two data sets provided: budget data for 2014 and public transportation in Jakarta.

The event was held on April 27-28, 2014, and was a collaboration between Hivos partner Southeast Asia Technology and Transparency Initiative (SEATTI), Jakarta’s local government, the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, DailySocial and the World Wide Web Foundation. Followed by 132 participants who created 53 applications, the hackathon focussed its energy on open government data and tackling issues that affect the city.

According to Shita Laksmi, Programme Manager of SEATTI, Indonesia is known to have highest level of transparency among other Southeast Asia countries. In light of that, she said, “It will be more meaningful if the transparency can be translated into quality engagement with citizens”. For example, a more accessible budget format that a broader audience can understand in terms of content and how the process works.

The realisation of this event coincides well with the current momentum of social movements as well as with the birth of new forms of digital and social media to amplify citizen’s voices. Indonesia will also be chairing the Open Government Partnership this year, which means that all eyes are on the stakeholders in the area of open government. By holding this event, SEATTI expects to foster engagement between the government and the developer community. “We hope to end up with applications that can engage citizens in monitoring and giving input to government,” Laksmi said.

As one of Hivos’ partners in the Transparency and Accountability Programme, SEATTI’s stand is very much in line with ours – the belief that open access to public information and government transparency are necessary in order for citizens to be fully engaged in the democratic process and pro-actively help end corruption and engender accountability in leadership. By collaborating with Omidyar Network, Hivos has supported SEATTI since 2013 and has thus built up a supportive ecosystem involving many stakeholders to achieve public sector transparency and accountability.

“For us, it translates into encouraging the adoption of user-friendly technology, meeting user demand and engaging citizens. We also hope we can contribute to achieving a more accountable governance mechanism,” Laksmi continued. The hackathon provides the means to ensure that open data from the Jakarta Administration can provide real benefits to the public.

Prasetyo Andy W., a young app developer, said that the #HACKJAK challenge is extremely interesting since it incorporates open data and transparency. The app that he and three of his colleagues created, was selected as the winner by panel of judges. Named APBD – Awasi dan Pelajari Belanja Daerah (Monitor and Study State Budget) – the app successfully combines data from the 2014 Jakarta State Budget and Revenue with a compelling user interface. The app allows users to report any budget misused or indications of corruption.