SimSim-Participation Citoyenne Year Established: 2013 Website: simsim.ma / nouabook.ma PURPOSE AND BACKGROUND SimSim-Participation Citoyenne is an independent, non-governmental organization established under Moroccan law. We seek to use technology tools to help citizens to play a more effective and constructive role in public decision-making, while assisting government institutions to better respond to citizens’ demands. The term “SimSim,” or “sesame,” is a reference to the story of the fictional character Ali Baba, whose cry of “open sesame” opens a cave housing his gold treasure. SimSim views information as gold. SimSim is represented by an executive board, an advisory board (consisting of experts from a range of fields), a team of five implementing staff, interns and a group of 10 young ambassadors located throughout Morocco. PROJECTS SimSim’s foremost project is Nouabook.ma, a web platform that facilitates engagement between citizens and their elected representatives. This online tool allows citizens to express their concerns and priorities, and to question their representatives about their work in parliament through text and video. Nouabook features public voting tools and integration with Facebook to attract participants and stimulate constructive dialogue. It also allows members of parliament (MPs) to respond to citizens publicly and to share updates -using text, video and image formats- on their legislative work directly on the site. SimSim is implementing several projects in support of Nouabook.ma, including: – MP Google Hangouts: After collecting citizens’ questions through Nouabook.ma, the questions are asked to an MP in a live, online townhall discussion. Citizens can also pose questions during the event through their Facebook accounts. – Nouabook Youth Ambassadors: SimSim’s 10 youth ambassadors are stationed around the country, teaching citizens about parliament, helping citizens ask questions to their elected representatives and encouraging MPs to participate in the Nouabook program. RESULTS – More than 40 MPs from the 8 major political parties are participating in the project. – Over 150 citizens’ questions have been answered and, in some instances, formed the basis of questions asked to ministers or requests to other government officials. – Thousands of citizens have participated in or viewed online events featuring elected officials. FUNDING SimSim is the beneficiary of grants from the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development.