The Warsaw edition of the international TechCamp conference was accompanied by the competition for innovative projects aimed at strengthening civic society and the third sector in Poland. Eleven projects stemming from the ideas developed by the TechCamp workshop groups were submitted to the competition for mini-grants. The Competition Committee composed of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and Information Society Development Foundation representatives decided to award five projects.
Two of them will receive funding under the mini-grants. They include:
Mydbamy.pl (a grant of PLN 9,000):
The project aims to develop and apply in practice an Internet tool for local communities enabling the identification and improvement of places and elements of public space. The project involves not only the mapping of such sites but also building the community of volunteers who organize themselves and solve problems.
Polonization of the Engage platform (a grant of PLN 6,000):
The engage.intel.com platform was originally dedicated to teachers. However, due to its numerous functions it can be successfully applied by other groups, including NGOs.
The other three rewarded projects are larger undertakings and have been offered cooperation and financial support under the “ICT for Local Development” Program. These are the following:
Social cake is meant to be a tool for non-governmental organizations and entities acting for the benefit of the civic society (e.g. libraries) which want to be active in the social media. This tool is to be useful both for beginners and those users who want to develop their skills in this area.
The website making available the application for co-editing or creating infographics.
Financing through involvement:
The objective of this project is to create and promote the crowd-funding platform adjusted to the needs of the Polish third sector. The platform shall be available for all non-governmental organizations registered in the National Court Register and informal groups that meet certain criteria. It shall open new opportunities to promote and finance social projects carried out by non-governmental organizations. The long-term goal of the project is to promote the crowd-funding as an alternative and effective way of fundraising for actions carried out by the third sector.
All awarded projects result from cooperation of various non-governmental organizations’ representatives who met at the Warsaw edition of the TechCamp conference.
The TechCamp is a program of the U.S. Department of State, comprising conferences organized in various parts of the world on practical use of modern communication and information technologies in building democracy and strengthening civic society. The TechCamp is held as two-day workshops resulting in the development of new conceptions and solutions as well as an innovative application of popular technologies.
The Warsaw TechCamp, held on October 8-9, 2013 was attended by more than 80 representatives of Polish NGOs, mainly operating on the local level, 20 Polish and American experts and a group of Kirkland scholarship holders, including socially active students from Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Belarus.
The Polish edition of the TechCamp was organized in cooperation with the Office of eDiplomacy at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF) and the Information Society Development Foundation (FRSI). The strategic partner of the conference was Intel, the business partner – Microsoft, the event was also supported by Google. The content partners of the event included the TechSoup Foundation, Centrum Cyfrowe (the Digital Center) and Fundacja Widzialni (the “Visible” Foundation). The TechCamp in Poland was organized as part of the PAFF “ICT for Local Development” Program which is managed by the FRSI and aims at improving knowledge and competence of the NGO representatives in practical use of ICT.