Our project, in short, is a website to monitor public funding and private donations raised to reconstruct public buildings damaged by the earthquake which hit Emilia Romagna in May 2012.

Emilia Romagna is a region in Northern Italy, which in 2012 experienced a series of devastating earthquakes, measuring up to 6.0 on the richter scale. Up to 45,000 people were made homeless, and 27 lost their lives. The cost of public buildings’ reconstruction is so far is estimated at around €370 million, with projects including schools, hospitals, and the restoration of historical cultural sites. We want to make sure that this process is open, transparent and accountable.

The Emilia-Romagna region and the ANCI (the association of all Italian municipalities) gathered the relevant administrative data; and an association working on IT and civic participation, called Open Polis, developed special software for accessing the data in a user-friendly and easy way.

But Open Ricostruzione is more than this. Technology isn’t enough to “rebuild” democracy: our focus is on re-building citizens’ skills. Beyond smart cities, we need smart citizens.

For this reason, ActionAid is organizing a series of workshops to train civil society activists to monitor reconstruction, providing juridical and data journalism skills with Dataninja (an Italian data journalism network).

Today each of us can contribute to make reconstruction in Emilia and our institutions more accountable, and this is possible just using a mobile phone, a camera and an internet connection. This means we can, and should be, more responsible for and concerned by the rebuilding of a better society, better institutions and better nation.

We have the tools and we want to make it happen.

We’d love to hear from you, and you can follow us @Open_Ric for updates.

Open Ricostruzione is a project designed by Wikitalia and realized by Anci, Ancitel, ActionAid and Openpolis with the technical support of Emilia Romagna Region and the financial support of Cisco Italy