Civic Tech Toronto Hacknight: September 8

Eighth hacknight – 10 participants.

Presenters: Denise Pinto and Josh Koudys from Jane’s Walk.

Breakout groups:

  • Toronto Budget – Henrik
  • Jane’s Walk walk creator tool – Denise and Josh

61 thoughts on “Civic Tech Toronto Hacknight: September 8

  • Workgroup: Toronto Budget Accessibility Project
    Participants: Henrik Bechmann, Emily Fan, Medina Abdelkader, Kevin Branigan

    We discussed ways of progressing through the strategic planning toward selection of an impactful, realistically scoped project. The discussion centered around consulting a client user group representing experts and users of the budget domain space. Equally important, we discussed ways of progressing that would build consensus and teamwork within the Budget Project Team.

    The four dimensions of the strategy space identified are:

    A. The application scaffold, being a website portal potentially consisting of four broad areas:

    1. citizen’s mandate for budget participation: rights and duties
    2. clear budget information access: clarity, consistency, currency, context, and culture
    3. clear budget process information access
    4. budget supports (like open data, support personnel): this was generally judged to be a low priority

    B. The strategy exploration material assembled thus far, containing a ton of useful material from resource references to design ideas
    – the github repository https://github.com/HenrikBechmann/CivicTechTO-TorontoBudget
    – the github wiki https://github.com/HenrikBechmann/CivicTechTO-TorontoBudget/wiki

    C. The potential users, including
    – city open data people
    – city finance people
    – civic society groups including betterbudget.ca people
    – frontline city workers
    – councillors and their staff
    – neighbourhood groups
    – media people

    D. The toronto budget project workgroup itself including
    the client user group (representatives of the users from above): to assist with strategic planning, and subsequently user acceptance testing, and ongoing feedback to the development team
    the development team, including project lead, developers, testers, and architect
    the open data source team, to provide reliable, consistent, up to date raw budget data inputs

    The mandate is to select a project with the help of the client users group that would have impact (constructive change of behaviour on the part of selected users), which at the same time would provide benefit to the city (to support the open data input effort), and which would be realistic to complete with a volunteer development effort in about 9-12 months. This would be the first version of the first module of the scaffold.

    The plan that emerged from discussion of these dimensions was:
    – Medina and Henrik will set up a CivicTech Toronto Budget Project User Group Lead List populated with initial nominated candidates for inclusion in this group.
    – Emily will help to manage and populate this group
    – Henrik will review current strategic planning material with Emily, to solicit advice as to how to organize this material, before the next meeting
    – Next meeting Medina will present a process structure for leading representatives of the user group to a conclusion as to project selection (perhaps in two sessions – city and community, or perhaps combined, to be determined)
    – We will clarify options as much as possible in preparation for these meeting (extent to be determined), recognizing that judgement as to impact would be most effective coming from the user groups

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