Ambitious online catalogue maps civil society issues in the Czech Republic and Slovakia
By Karel Novotny
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC, 20 November 2003
At the beginning of October, Econnect launched a long-awaited GenderIT.org. ">internetproject called "Kormidlo" - a directory-type comprehensive information source on the civic society sector, how it works, activities and topics of interest.
Kormidlo is attempting to map all internet-based information resources on environment, human rights, culture, social development and aid, and the non-profit sector in general. It also covers links to organisations, events, news, and other information sources. Even websites run by the state, commercial companies, scientific institutions, newspapers and others are included - as long as they have a connection to the civic sector issues outlined.
Geographically, Kormidlo covers Czech and Slovak websites related to the civic sector in the greatest possible detail, and, selectively, relevant websites in the member and candidate countries of the European Union. It also includes websites from other countries that are directly related to Central European issues, and websites of international organisations and institutions.
Econnect, APC member in the Czech Republic, and creator of Kormidlo, approached the building and the administration of the catalogue in a new way from the other portals they have built over the last years. The catalogue has been divided into topical branches and editorial responsibility for particular branches was divided between organisations that are prominent in terms of activities (and therefore have a good overview) in a particular area. Using the APC ActionApps content-sharing function, each organisation administers a directory of links relevant to its field of activity which is displayed on the organisation's website.
At the same time, all links (accompanied by descriptions) are aggregated into the comprehensive catalogue Kormidlo. Participating organizations are motivated to keep their topical directories updated in which way also the Kormidlo catalogue is being maintained up-to-date.
The novelty of the project for Econnect does not only stem from new
system of distributed administration, but also from the magnitude of
described co-operation. At the moment, 22 organisations are
collaborating on the catalogue administration.
Besides thematic categories, the catalogue can be searched by region, country, language of documents or by full text search. At the moment, there are almost 4500 entries in the catalogue and the number is growing day by day.