The main aim of the EPIC-project is to further develop the existing application Pocket Democracy, expand its usage to as many Ostrobothnian municipalities as possible, and evaluate its effects on citizens. Moreover, our research interest focuses specifically on how to involve young people in democratic innovations. We do this by working with schools in the region as well as with youth councils. We want to reach both the already politically interested young citizens as well as the persons who are not interested.
The expected results are: a pedagogical tool to use in upper secondary education, a user-friendly tool for following politics in several Ostrobothnian municipalities, an evaluation of the effects of using civic technology such as Pocket Democracy.
Hopefully, the app will make life easier for citizens, politicians, journalists and municipalities in the region. That is, the wellbeing of local democracy in Ostrobothnia would benefit from the project. Moreover, we see several additional benefits of implementing the Pocket Democracy app in Ostrobothnia. Recently, several difficult and polarizing issues have been on the local political agenda, such as municipal mergers or school and kindergarten closures. The app would provide information about these issues in time, before decisions are made, and will hopefully help citizens to deal with emotions such as anger and frustration.
The Pocket Democracy project has developed a user-friendly app for following local politics and the app is currently being used in the municipality of Malax. The app visualizes data from municipal protocols, allows you to follow errands or areas of interest. The search function gives you a possibility to search for specific information in municipal documents, a function not present on the municipal website. The app also gives you information on the people in different municipal agencies and their contact information.