October 17, 2014
Contact: Lara Dieringer, 573-882-4856, DieringerL@missouri.edu
NFOIC FOI training proposal receives Knight Foundation grant
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) has been awarded a $35,000 Knight Prototype Fund grant to create pilot projects aimed at developing open government training modules for public officials and records custodians, particularly in states where open government training is mandated.
The fund, which Knight launched in 2012, encourages the rapid iteration and testing of ideas while providing a support network for the creators. The recipients join a cohort of winners who get the opportunity to receive human-centered design training and to share ideas and concepts with other people experiencing similar opportunities and challenges.
NFOIC’s proposal is to develop a sustainable education and training initiative through digital services including mobile apps and professional support to help state and local governments meet the growing external challenge of public FOI requests and the internal challenge of meeting the mandates of legislation intended to make government agencies more transparent.
“Our project is about saving government and residents time and money by reducing the complexity, bureaucracy and cost for carrying out the responsibility of fulfilling FOI requests by improving the management, maintenance, organization and reporting of public information,” said NFOIC president Hyde Post.
The Knight grant is to help the organization develop and test a prototype of their idea. “The Prototype Fund continues to prove itself as an important vehicle for learning and discovering new solutions to information challenges,” said Chris Barr, Knight Foundation director for media innovation, who runs the Prototype Fund.
NFOIC hopes to work with its state and regional affiliate members to establish ongoing training and support with government agencies and groups within those affiliates’ jurisdictions, said Post.
About NFOIC: NFOIC is a nonpartisan alliance of state & regional affiliates promoting collaboration, education & advocacy for open government, transparency & freedom of information. Affiliate members include citizen-driven nonprofit freedom of information organizations, academic and First Amendment centers, journalistic societies and attorneys.