This profile was prepared when Endre Biro was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
To encourage greater involvement in civic life and thereby to strengthen the democratic process in Hungary, Endre is developing tools to help citizens more easily access and more effectively use the law. For example, he has created an online resource that indexes information related to the legal process, as well as to statutes and individual legal cases. Starting with the education and nonprofit sectors, Endre has designed services that teach people to efficiently use the resources he creates. Further, he builds the infrastructure necessary to match client needs with relevant resources and services. Using a team of volunteer lawyers, he helps schools and nonprofits establish legal relationships with the government, then secure and use information about codes and other legal matters that affect their work. As a result, clients feel enabled rather than oppressed by the often baffling, unwieldy, and archaic systems established and maintained by the state. Endre looks forward to adapting the tools he has created to other sectors of society where the legal system is currently difficult to access and use; these sectors include state administration, health care, social services, environmental protection, and rural development. His overarching goal is to encourage and enable strong civic participation in post-1989 Hungary.