The light and the dark side of the use of EU funding: the results of Monithon’s civic monitoring

…All in all, this small journey in Monithon’s civic monitoring proves at least two things.

The first is that using public data for a real accountability action is a huge effort, as well as an amusement. The data, despite being open, does not answer the universe of questions for responsible administrations, but on the contrary raises more. The novelty is that the funds we explored have reached that critical mass of transparency that allows anyone, as long as he or she is well organized and willing to study (that’s right, to study), to use the available information as a base for further research. These generally lead to the discovery of something useful also for the administrations, for example the impact of financed projects on the life of people.

The second is that, having acquired new tools, local communities are willing to work hard. You can see this in the very adult faces of the young kids that thanks to civic monitoring projects start to understand how public policies can improve their cities or guarantee more opportunities for their future. You can understand this by looking at those entities that everyday work to achieve their civic objectives and that by learning how financing works are provided with new weapons, acquire new powers and are more effective in using their energies.

Are our public administrations ready for all of this? How many of them are in turn willing to make the effort to listen, be accountable and take the necessary steps? As they say, we will find out in the next episode. In the next post we will examine the impact of civic monitoring, so whether and how the results we have seen have been used and what changes have they generated. We will report some cases with the intention of starting a good discussion. Which, of course, can already start now….(More)”