“When the geeks go marching in, good stuff can happen, but if everyone joins in, real change can take place.” That’s what the hackers and team behind Codeando México, a civil innovation platform where government and organizations publish projects, thought when they launched the #app115 challenge, an app competition that aimed to prove that great code can be very inexpensive if motivated by the right reasons.
What motivated them? A couple of weeks ago, the Mexican House of Representatives announced that they were planning to pay $9.3 million to have an app developed. The app would work on mobile devices and would monitor what went on in the sessions: bills, context, statements and media analysis. According to one of Mexico’s most widely read newspapers, they had hired a company called Pulso Legislativo (a company that allegedly has questionable relations with current and former legislators from the party in power) and had agreed to 32 monthly payments of about $290,000.