Quick Look

Sejmometr is an online portal that aims to provide easily digestible insights into the legislative processes of the Polish government.

Beginning Date: 
November 1, 2010
Project Scale: 
Types of Tools: 


Sejmometr (from the Polish words “Sejm,” or parliament, and “metr,” or monitor) is an online portal that aims to provide easily digestible insights into the legislative processes of the Polish government, particularly the Sejm (Poland’s parliament). Launched two years ago, the site has gained popularity due to its content and in the summer of 2010 underwent a major re-development to move to a second, more sophisticated version.

Supported by international sponsors, the new version of the portal allows users to browse key parliamentary decisions by sponsoring party and by status in the Sejm. New features, including profiles of individual members of parliament, will continue to be added over the next year.


Tell me a little about your project.: 

My name is Daniel Macyszyn and I launched Sejmometr as an attempt to use modern Internet technologies for the development of civic society. We want to provide people with tools to track changes of law and the work of parliament representatives and officials easily and more effectively. The project was developed because of the lack of access to that type of data in Poland. For more than two years, Sejmometr was a hobby. I developed it in my free time. During that time, I managed to work out the strategy for the future of the portal, but its realization was impossible with the little amount of time I could spend on it. So I decided to seek the support of NGOs to be able to develop it in a professional manner. I succeeded, and currently Sejmometr is sponsored by the Open Society Institute, the Soros Foundation and MySociety. We aim to release the first professional version of the site on October 1, 2010, and work on its development continuously.

The fact that a huge amount of legislative data is publicly accessible in Poland does not necessarily mean everything is OK. We have issues with that access. The forms of presentation of data by the state institutions we are interested in are inadequate to the currently available conceptual and technological possibilities. We see areas for improvement, as well as inadequacies on many levels — from the lack of logic (in some processes) and clarity to difficulties in usage of the published documents as well as errors. Our project aims to reduce all those issues.

What's your vision for the project?: 

There are two goals: providing access to a high-quality legislative database, and building community around the processes of law-making in Poland.

As for the first goal, we want to use the possibilities given by modern technology in access to legislative data. We aim to provide access in a few ways, first through the Sejmometr portal itself and then through the introduction of an API (an interface that allows other applications to access and use Sejmometr’s data) as well as building mobile applications. On Sejmometr itself, we are currently introducing rich filtering of projects, full text search, tag clouds, graphing of voting results and the ability to view documents on websites (without having to download those as PDF files). All those solutions are currently used on the web, but have not been used in the legislative context in Poland.

We want to initiate a new trend of people who follow their representatives’ activities and we want to convince people that the natural consequence of taking part in elections is the continuous monitoring of their chosen representatives. Democracy is based not only on public elections, but on public control. The upcoming elections in Poland are a good occasion for us to amplify this message. We are convinced that this type of fresh, down-to-earth view on the law and the work of officials will contribute towards increased levels of civic participation in public life.

What are the biggest obstacles to your success?: 

The idea of convincing society that the legislative process can be something interesting and worth our attention will be our largest challenge. We want to increase the level of civic awareness and overcome the passivity we observe in this area. We hope that we will succeed thanks to the innovative (for this sector at least) formats we are using to present the data and social functionalities. We believe that with the implementation of patterns and technologies that play a major role in the success of the main social networks, we will also raise the interest of society in law-making processes, or even create a trend of keeping track of officials’ activities. We want to create tools to make it easy and attractive.

I think that people associate law with tomes of volumes of legislation written in unfriendly language, and associate Sejm with oratorical showing-off without any practical usability. We want to demystify them and show the legislative processes in an attractive frame — through current web trends.

What is your civic role?: 

Currently we do not have any specific relationships with the government, but once we develop the new version of our portal we do aim to develop them. We are convinced that the project does not have to oppose the authorities, and any type of co-operation will only improve the value and standard of our site.

Has your work been replicated?: 


What transparency/accountability organizations do you work with?: 

Sejmometr is supported by the Open Society Institute, Soros Foundation and MySociety. Currently we only co-operate with our sponsors. Once the new version of our portal is live, we will aim to establish closer relationships with organizations dedicated to governmental transparency, to exchange experiences.


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