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The Malaga editathon: co-designing a tool to ease the access to information and processes

On 25th of February, the second Malaga hackathon took place. Designed as an editathon format, the goal of the event was to focus on the improvement of the first version of the easyRights Malaga wiki that our team developed in the past weeks. The event, hosted by Christar International and BIC Euronova, in collaboration with the Service Design Lab AAU, gathered local organizations, experts, and migrants to co-design a tool to ease the access to information on the asylum application and job seeking processes for migrants in the city of Malaga.

Given the complexity and distribution of information concerning these two procedures in Spain, in combination with the lack of an official service that supports asylum-seekers in such journeys, migrants tend to rely on word of mouth or unofficial sources. This often leads to severe misinformation, wrong expectations, and demoralizing situations that have serious consequences for the integration and well-being of migrants. Committed to ensuring migrants’ exercise of their rights to access international protection and job, easyRights envisioned and built a wiki as a collaborative, reliable, and accessible digital space where migrants and experts in these fields can contribute to, consult and share information. In this way, the space collects from both formal and non-formal sources, knowledge related to the current legislation, documentation, rights of migrants, procedures, assistance, and testimonials.

The activities of the editathon were designed to upgrade the first version of our wiki space. On one hand, we wanted to prove the value of the wiki as a common access point to this information. Second, to work on the curation of the content. And last, to generate engagement to the use and contribution to the tool.

For that, we invited 16 local participants — which included 10 refugees from various countries and 6 local experts such as immigration attorneys, employment experts, a Malaga city official, and an NGO director. Divided into smaller groups according to their topic of expertise, participants went first individually through the content of the wiki, which had been printed and assembled in booklets with plenty of space for writing, annotating, correcting, and questioning. Then, the easyRights facilitators opened up a discussion in the groups to share the participants’ impressions on the wiki structure and the current content. ‘What is missing or misleading?’ ‘What kind of information would require regular updates?’ ‘What sources of information should be consulted or involved in the maintenance of the wiki space?’ - are some of the questions the conversation versed on.

Finally, the attendees were encouraged to try the functioning of the wiki by editing or commenting on the content themselves. Assisted by the developers of the wiki — the winners of the easyRights Palermo hackathon —, participants incorporated some of their collected thoughts, improvement, and re-framing suggestions directly in the wiki space.

Envisioned as a first testing ground, participants were invited to keep nourishing and updating the platform after the event and take ownership of the sustainability of this tool. Simultaneously, the easyRights team will collect and incorporate all insights and reflections emerging from the workshop. In this way, the wiki will be continually adjusted and improved to make sure it offers a better response to the information needs of migrants and organizations in relation to asylum and job seeking.

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