Access to information is one of the main challenges that migrants need to overcome when moving to a new country. This situation puts the migrants in a situation of vulnerability and affects negatively their process of integration in all the levels (e.g. in the labour market or in the education system). Mostly the legal information is just available in the national language and the websites of the public institutions are quite confusing and complex, sometimes not even up-to-date.
In order to tackle this challenge, a consortium of organizations in the Danube Region has created a multilingual information platform – in the frame of the project DRIM, co-financed by the program Interreg– that offers necessary information on different topics in order to facilitate the communication flow between the migrants and the different actors that play a role in their integration of migrants in different scopes. This platform is already available in its beta version (www.danubecompass.org) and the final launch will take place in June 2018. Croatia is one of the countries that are included in the compendium of information provided by the info platform Danube Compass, which is structured in a very user-friendly and appealing way in at least 4 languages per country.
One of the main issues that the consortium has been working on is the sustainability of the platform as well as discussing strategies to broaden the profile of the users. The impact of the new technologies in the society might offer the opportunity to improve the tool and increase its user-friendliness, as well as make it available for different target groups via a mobile application.
While testing the beta version of the info-platform with migrants, it was suggested to create an app that on the one hand contains the information of the Danube Compass and the other, presents this information in a more attractive and interactive way. The objectives would be reaching the different target group through smartphones and tablets and offering a more tailored access to the information. This app would facilitate the communication flow between newcomers to a country and other key actors in the process (e.g. NGOs, public authorities) in order to offer the users a more interactive, user-friendly and pleasant experience.
With the aim to achieve a better access and dissemination of valid information for newly arrived migrants we want to develop this app in a co-creative process making visible the synergies and potential of a cooperation between young professionals both from hosting country and migrant communities. Gain&Sustain would like to organize a “Hackathon”, a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and software development experts (including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers) cooperate intensively in small groups on software development projects. The main goal of this specific “Hackathon” would be to create a usable software (in this case in a form of an app) building on the already collected information in the Danube Compass and scaling up its impact through a broader and more targeted valorization of the content. Gain&Sustain, in cooperation with Centre for Peace Studies, will be in charge of the organization of the event in the Alps-Adriatic Zone. The event would take place either in Zagreb or Klagenfurt in November 2018. Beforehand (beginning of August), all the key information on the “Hackathon” as well as rules of participation, awards and objectives and goals for the participants will be published. The event would last 48h in which the experts of all over the Danube Region will be invited to participate and form different teams. Travel and accommodation costs of the participants will be covered by the organization. They will be presented with the “Challenge” they need to solve by means of creating an app. At the end of this 48h, each team will present their projects.
The awards (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) will be decided by the audience, as well as Gain&Sustain and Centre of Peace Studies.
During the “Hackathon”, different partners and stakeholders (public authorities, sectoral agencies, representative of universities, members of NGOs, etc.) will be invited in order to increase the visibility and dissemination of the event, the information platform and the product created for the participants of the “Hackathon”.