A new smart phone app seeks to hold climate negotiators accountable

This week negotiators from around the world will meet in Doha, Qatar to once again hem and haw their way through an international climate conference.  Though we can expect the usual commitment dodging and grandstanding from the world’s leaders, assembled onlookers hoping to hold their representatives accountable will have a new tool in their arsenal this year: a smart phone app.

DecisionMakr, a new smartphone and web app that will launch at Doha, allows Twitter users to rate negotiators and decision-makers in real-time on the quality of their proposals and the merit of their statements in meetings.  The goal, said Angel Hsu, who designed the app with Pariveda Solutions, is to give decision-makers real-time feedback in a way that may allow civil society to participate more actively in negotiations.

[embedplusvideo height=”300″ width=”430″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Z9aybH1glYw?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=Z9aybH1glYw&width=430&height=300&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9344″ /]

“So much time and energy goes into these conferences,” Hsu said. “But it’s hard to engage with negotiators.  Civil society is often shut out of the process.”

DecisionMakr will create a venue for voicing perspectives on individual negotiators.  By doing so it may amplify the critiques from non-negotiating climate conference participants – outside observers, engaged activists, businesses, and scholars. “Maybe decision-makers will start to pay more attention to how their stances are viewed,” Hsu said.

In a large conference like the one that will begin Nov. 26 in Doha, where multiple meetings occur at the same time, DecisionMakr will also allow small delegations to track events in meetings that they cannot otherwise attend.  If nothing else the new app will also provide real-time coverage and documentation of the shifting positions and proposals of climate negotiators.  “We see a lot of value in the play by play,” Hsu said. “Many people ask me, ‘was China actually responsible for wrecking the Copenhagen climate deal?’  Now we can have a real time record.”

DecisionMakr is available at www.decisionmakr.org.  Use it at your next town hall meeting or international conference, or to follow the action in Doha.

Aaron Reuben

Aaron Reuben is an editor-at-large and the former editor-in-chief of Sage Magazine. He holds a Masters of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where he focused on governance of global marine resources. Aaron is a Get Out the Vote Director for Obama for America in western Pennsylvania. He is co-founder of the Brooklyn-based literary arts journal Armchair/Shotgun.

More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *