Talk abstract: Meeting Citizens where they R. Previously, there was an information access problem where citizens had to navigate to each individual Hong Kong district councillor’s Facebook page to receive updates on them. This posed an obstacle to civic participation as there was no central source. In this respect, citizens had to go to where the information was. In this talk, we will outline how we switched this around by getting the information to go to where the citizens are, thereby removing obstacles to civic participation and empowering them with seamless access to this data. We will cover specific elements such as building a web app that centralises this information in one place; open-sourcing the data and code so anyone can access and build on it; how we took the principles of access and user-centred design in this project to spawn a vision and advance other social initiatives; organically building, growing and scaling a motivated team of volunteers to work on these other initiatives; and the user-research we conducted to understand more about our users and how we can further tailor products for them.
Bio: Coming from a humanities background and hardly ever imagined himself to be someone who codes for a hobby, Martin discovered and fell in love with R as he pondered (then as an entry level analyst) whether analysis tasks can be done better and smarter. Since then, Martin has immersed himself in the #rstats community, publishing both [a blog on R](https://martinctc.github.io/blog/) and several R packages for work and for his own hobby coding. As a beneficiary of the highly inclusive and friendly R community in his career, Martin believes strongly in giving back to the community through open-source projects and blogging, which is one of the key drivers behind the founding of [Hong Kong Districts Info](https://hong-kong-districts-info.github.io/en/).