El Salvador to hold hackathon to improve access to public information

Monday, July 7, 2014

El Salvador's government plans to carry out its first hackathon on July 26 and 27, with the intention of developing tools that facilitate access to public information, improving transparency, services and increasing citizen participation, according to the presidential website.

Last week, the country's citizen participation, transparency and anti-corruption department increased the number of developers that can participate to 90 from 60, due to the large level of interest generated.

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The event is part of an initiative of the country's new President Salvador Sánchez that aims to combat corruption.

"We want public information to reach people in an timely manner, for which reason we are looking for young entrepreneurs to help us to develop technological tools like web and mobile applications to facilitate access to useful information and to act as a social comptroller, and public participation to resolve processes and smooth bureaucracy bumps," said department secretary Marcos Rodríguez.

The applications developed during the hackathon will use public information and operate on open databases found at http://infoutil.gobiernoabierto.gob.sv/#sthash.PMXzDr3C.dpuf.

Information includes prices of medicine, fuel, fertilizers, lists of board members of institutions, lawyers and hospitals. The applications will be developed in open source code to allow them to be improved.

The date to register is open from July 3-18, and the panel judging the winners will include representatives from the World Bank.