HMI:Networks aims to provide 2 things:
A set of resources to help people who want to investigate; and
A place to connect with other people who want to investigate
The second relies on the first, so if you can contribute any knowledge – however small – on your own progress in exploring the health, education or welfare systems, it will make a big difference in providing a place for others to pitch in.
The project is based on the experiences of the original Help Me Investigate project, which helped people collaborate to successfully investigate questions ranging from local authority spending to misleading claims by a publisher.
Since then increasing numbers of people are using the web to both ask questions and share the answers. The confidence to ask questions of power – and the ability to get answers – is growing.
We need to be able to find each other and share experiences; to be able to access useful resources; and to raise awareness of the results.
But the idea of a central site where all those investigations take place has various weaknesses, so we’re focusing on supporting the various networks of people who are already investigating – or who want to find out how to.
The central HMI blog, then, will continue to provide general guidance on areas such as investigating bribery, writing FOI requests, and analysing the results. If there’s an area you want guidance on, let us know.
The specialist sites – initially on health, education and welfare – will publish specific information on those fields. That might include who the key players are and their connections; useful laws and regulations to be aware of; and sources of data and information that can help answer questions.
The sites will also link to stories and investigations in that field – not just in the mainstream media but across blogs and forums.
Each specialist site will have their own site editor. If you want to be a site editor or contributor, let us know in the comments or via email to email@example.com.