OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Bureaucrazy. Digitizes and simplifies bureaucrazy.

Bureaucrazy is a web app for refugees, migrants and anyone who has difficulties with bureaucratic processes or the German official language

Photo of Jana Gottschalk
5 4

Written by

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

The German bureaucracy is notorious for its complexity, with its abundance of contact points, which pre-populate reporting data in a variety of formats, each with different identification systems (for example, social insurance, registration office, job center, tax office). Especially (but not only!) For about 1.34 million immigrant asylum seekers since 2015, the bureaucratic process represents a tremendous hurdle to integration if the confusing system encounters a lack of language skills. Each of the three Bureaucrazy founders filled out 25 different documents in their first year of arrival alone. When relocating, changing the residence status or taking up work, other authorities went to with renewed document inquiry. Especially in a bureaucracy that is predominantly non-digitally organized (as in Germany), this results in an immense amount of work and a lot of frustration when querying the same data. A digital and efficient solution is difficult to design and enforce within the federal German system. The perspective of refugees provides valuable insights into the gaps in the system. Bureaucrazy is a web and mobile app for refugees, migrants and anyone with difficulties managing the German bureaucratic system. Bureaucratic processes and the official language in Germany are complex and difficult to understand, even for German native speakers. Bureaucrazy translates difficult forms into different languages and guides users step by step through regulatory processes. Refugees and new immigrants are enabled by the app to independently master the bureaucratic process and to manage their own lives. Authorities can process applications faster and more efficiently.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Bureaucrazy empowers users to independently manage German authority processes and thus lead an independent life. The application is most beneficial for newcomers in the last 5 years, as they need the most support in managing governmental processes due to language difficulties. Scaling to other countries is embedded in the architecture of the app, which makes it easy to create new processes, forms and languages.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Bureaucrazy has the potential to play a key role in shaping the relationship between citizens and the state of the future by digitally aggregating various administrative processes in an app and involving people for whom administrative procedures have hitherto insurmountable barriers to integration. But all other of the approximately 17 million inhabitants in Germany with a migration background as well as sick and disabled people benefit from a low-barrier solution to bureaucracy.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Bureaucrazy empowers users to independently manage German authority processes and thus lead an independent life. In addition to increased satisfaction and participation, the app works against rumors and dependence on unreliable sources. Rule of law principles will be strengthened as the app will explain and translate laws, necessary authority steps and risks and provide step-by-step guidance. Documents and contracts can be filled in the first time without errors, which reduces the processing time with the authorities. The Bureaucrazy app translates forms into different languages and guides users step by step through regulatory processes - enabling refugees and newcomers to independently master the bureaucratic process, and thus giving refugees a necessary feeling of self-efficacy.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Various government and international agencies have already expressed interest in the concept and partnership, including: the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, the Knowlege Societies Divion of UNESCO and the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki. Non-governmental organizations from France (Aide L'enfance), Turkey (Contratados.org) and the Danish Mandagorrow were interested in expanding the platform to other countries. The long-term expansion and strategic partnership with state and / or nonprofit agencies to facilitate bureaucracy in other countries is planned. For the technical innovation the Bureaucrazy team won the 1st place of the Facebook Hackathon as well as the 2nd place of the Microsoft Hackathon Berlin.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Group or Organization Name

Bureaucrazy gUG

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Bureaucrazy was founded by three Syrians refugees who had to go through the bureaucratic process upon their arrival in Germany. They know the challenges of German bureaucracy and, as tech professionals, use their know-how to develop a digital solution. Omar Alshafai, a electrical engineer, has been living in Berlin since 2015. He is training as a specialist in market research at DIW Berlin and is responsible for business development and PR in the project. Ghaith Zamrik, a trained engineer, now works as an Associate Software Engineer and Web Developer at 'AKQA'. At Bureaucrazy he is the back-end & front-end specialist. Munzer Khattab, a trained architect, has lived in Berlin since 2015 and works as a UI / UX designer for the tech company '3pc'. Munzer designed the UI and UX of the Bureaucrazy app.

Website URL:

www.bureaucrazy.de

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

Germany

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Berlin

Attachments (1)

20190127_Bureaucrazy2pager_EN.pdf

Bureaucrazy: Overview of activities

5 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Ikong James
Team

Indeed this is an interesting idea. It helps re-imagine bureaucratic processes in a more convenient way. Kudos for working on this Jana Gottschalk and team.

Can't wait for it to scale to Africa particularly Uganda where I am base although more consultation in Uganda would be needed because the complexity of bureaucratic process in Uganda differs from those of Germany I hope that it's not the same for other targeted countries for the projected scale at the moment.

Wishing you all the best on this platform too
James

View all comments