As interest has heightened across the region to launch freedom-of-information sites, one group is moving to make it infinitely easier to get such sites off the ground. Alaveteli, which refers to itself as "free social email software", is an outgrowth of WhatDoTheyKnow, a website produced by mySociety for making FOI requests in the UK. The software has been translated into eight languages so far, and sites have been deployed in Bosnia and Serbia, among other places. The software's name refers to the town (now in Finland) where the world's first freedom-of-information act was created.
TOL Executive Director Jeremy Druker met with one of the leaders of Alaveteli, David Cabo, on the sidelines of the Point conference, which took place in mid-February in Sarajevo on political accountability and new technologies. David worked with mySociety and Access Info Europe in the development of the EU access to information site, AsktheEU.org, which runs on Alaveteli. He also launched the transparency initiative “adoptaundiputado (Adopt an MP) to crowdsource the parsing of Spanish parliamentarians' financial disclosure reports, and has collaborated with investigative journalists in the extraction and analysis of public records (Looting the Seas, ICIJ) He’s currently working on tuderechoasaber.es, an access-to-information site for Spain based on the Alaveteli software, which has been funded by more than 150 small donors using the Spanish crowdfunding platform Goteo.
Alaveteli is also organizing a conference in April " for Alaveteli developers, Alaveteli users, FOI experts, Open Data geeks, and anyone interested in the platform and its uses". Travel scholarships are available.
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