Open North: Online tools to educate and empower citizens

Open North is a nonprofit that creates online tools to educate and empower citizens to participate actively in democracy. They develop tools for civil society and governments that reduce barriers to effective participation, improving access to government information and by making participation fun, easy, and meaningful. They also directly with government, civil society, and media to create citizen engagement opportunities.

Current tools include a budget simulator to consult citizens on budget priorities, a web service that helps nonprofits run effective campaigns connecting citizens to representatives, and the creation of open data standards.

CitizenBudget — An online budget simulator for municipalities and civil society organizations, allowing them to consult residents about budget priorities. Customizable. Results can be integrated in the next budget cycle. (Go try it out! It’s fun!)

Represent — The largest database and open API of elected Canadian officials with two Drupal modules (webform, civiCRM) for easy website integration.

MyCityHall — [Under development] A government monitoring platform that will allow citizens to track the activity of local elected officials and influence decisions made at city hall. Integrates news media and social media. Open North is also developing an open data standard and open source code that civic developers around the world will be able to adapt to monitor their own local governments.

Open511 — Standard format to allow governments to publish and crowdsource traffic data (construction, incidents, etc.)