The Public Knowledge Workshop (“Hasadna”)
Hasadna LeYeda Tziburi, the Public Knowledge Workshop in English, is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation that was founded in 2011. Its mission is to allow the public to engage more meaningfully with Israeli government and public interest data by making it more accessible to the public. This is achieved with the support of hundreds of volunteers who are engaged in “civic coding” on open source platforms (a form of coding which is open for everyone to use, share and develop upon). The volunteers develop websites and apps that are openly available to the general public that present and analyze this data.
Examples of government data examined by Hasadna include Knesset voting records, legislation, committee activity (particularly the Finance Committee), national budget information and the management of public funds at both the local and national levels.
- Develops free websites and mobile apps based on open source software that make government information more accessible to the public;
- Collaborates with the government to increase its transparency and open additional information;
- Cooperates with numerous organizations, institutions, media and citizens that share its goals;
- Brings together social and Hi-Tech entrepreneurs, developers, designers and editors to incubate its project
Activists at the Public Knowledge Workshop come from a variety of backgrounds, from programming experts and graphic designers to researchers in the social sciences.
We believe that by working together and learning from each other, we can innovate our way to a better civic discourse in Israel. Plus, we have a lot of fun in the process.
Israel is known worldwide as the “Start-Up Nation”. Tel Aviv has arguably the highest rate of high-tech start-ups per capita in the world and, according to the “Start Up Genome”, the second best ecosystem for start ups. Despite this fact, the Israeli government lags behind in technology both in openly sharing its data as well as in providing government services online.
This lack of information sharing has lead to a widespread distrust among Israelis of their government effectiveness and integrity. In the 2012 global corruption perception index, Israel was ranked 39th, well below most of the OECD countries.
By fixing the information asymmetry that exists between the public and the government, we enhance the Israeli democracy by increasing civic participation, and restoring the trust of the citizens in their government.