Spotted: Bureaucrazy to solve German bureaucracy


German bureaucracy is a pain for Germans but especially for foreigners. Two refugees try to shine a light into the darkness.

At ReDI, a Berlin non-profit school for digital integration, asylum seekers learn how to code. In small classes, volunteer developers teach subjects like Ruby on Rails and Javascript. When asked to start coding their own project, Munzer Khattab from Syria, and Ghaith Zamrik, from Damascus saw one problem that everybody faces: German bureaucracy. Many people have ended up in the wrong place, at the wrong time, for the wrong reason and sometimes there’s no chance to communicate because of language barriers. On top of that comes an endless number of forms to fill out.

In a team with four other coders they are now working on an app called Bureaucrazy with three main functions:

  • A translation service for documents
  • A multiple-choice decision tree for frequently encountered problems 
  • A map that shows where to go for what service

The app will start as a web-based version, which makes sense, given that it can be used with every device. However, Android and iOS will follow. The launch is expected to be in January.  

The idea is obvious and more than necessary – it’s not a secret Germany’s system is extremely complicated and especially in Berlin, waiting times are ridiculously long. It’s somewhat unbelievable that an app like this doesn’t exist yet, since the problem is not new either. If you want to support the team – financially or with your time – you can contact the team through their Facebook page.

Photo credit: unk’s dump truck via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA