Amitay Korn

Ashoka Fellow
Israel,
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Amitay Korn was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Amitay is the founder of Kol Zchut (All Rights), which is the first online, wiki-based, and user-friendly database of Israeli citizens’ rights and eligibility for entitlements. After forty years spent in the computer and hi-tech industry, Amitay had an observation about the transparency of legal and social rights for citizens that struck a nerve: a large sum of the money that governments allocate to welfare and social service benefits is not claimed by citizens. Citizens are often not equipped with the full know-how of their rights and thus do not claim their rights fully when in need. In fact, billions of dollars of social welfare funds are left untapped each year and do not reach those most in need. Amitay realized that the smallest changes to peoples’ know-how and knowledge of their rights can bring about significant social impact. Leveraging wiki and crowdsourcing technology, Amitay created a vehicle for citizen access and knowledge of rights and benefits across a wide-range of fields. These key areas addressed by Amitay’s idea range from disability rights, single-parent rights, workers’ rights and even citizen rights relating to the use of noisy garden equipment.

Amitay’s idea is systems-changing in the way it creates transparency between communities, ministries, public agencies, citizen organizations (COs), and governments. Kol Zchut enables ministries, public agencies, civil organizations, and citizens to build a body of knowledge on rights and work together to address citizen needs without duplicating efforts. Because of its wiki technology, citizens, government agencies, and the citizen sector can constantly supplement information with up-to-date services and benefits, tips, and advice. Kol Zchut incentivizes organizations and agencies to make information transparent through this system for aggregating and disseminating information. In addition, individuals see the value in this idea because it allows them to claim their rights and connect to COs, welfare agencies, and governmental bodies that can assist them in fulfilling their specific needs.

To date, Kol Zchut is the world’s only wiki-based web platform for rights. Websites without the benefits of the wiki strategy are usually limited to one field, or to the resources of their founders. They are also limited in size, beneficiary groups, and by their ability to communicate updated information. The wiki system circumvents these barriers altogether: any contributor, after a due diligence test, can add information, and organizations can easily update information, allowing the platform to expand and scale impact with only marginal costs to the developers. Kol Zchut is evolving into an information bridge spanning government bodies and ministries, the civil sector, and the public. As a result of Amitay and Kol Zchut, more Israelis feel empowered to take advantage of their legal and social rights, while COs and the government are more equipped to offer their beneficiaries direct support and information. Discussions and planning are underway for assisting the development of similar initiatives in India and Europe.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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