Build something – Civic Tech Field Guide
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Build something

Build something

Learn how to develop collaborative projects, prototypes, or datasets. Get access to software, administrative tools, and data. Explore services and tools to improve interaction between governments and communities or platforms that offer training, facilitation, coding, and designing services. This is the place where you can find resources to build campaigns, lead your movements, learn about civic hackathons, or evaluate the power of data. Don’t miss it!

Build your own


Incubators


Growth and mentorship are important aspects that could make a difference in the process of changing and creating impact. These incubators provide the resources needed to transform ideas into successful civic tech initiatives.

Accelerators


Explore accelerator programs that offer funding, training and mentorship and connect people and experts that could work together to face hard challenges around the world.

Toolkits


Toolkits can help you to get a start on key practices within the civic tech field. Check out resources needed to begin, sustain, and grow communities and networks or find useful information on how to design policies, create projects, or lead movements.

Co-design


A collection of resources, methods, tools and materials to facilitate participatory co-design practices and to help projects find the direction they need. Co-creation and open design techniques allow others to make creative contributions in the solution of a specific problem.

User research groups


As civic tech mostly aims to promote citizen participation, usability testing services are really useful to encourage that desired engagement. Here you will learn about platforms that connect communities with the private and public sectors as well as research initiatives that involve users in design and development processes.

Playbooks and Design Principles


Playbooks and collections of design principles give us an opportunity to codify and abstract the way in which we work to help others understand, adapt, and replicate on their own.

What they aim to give you is a collection of repeatable plans and tactics for responding to typical challenges. As such, they can be absolutely invaluable as an internal company tool; and we think they can also help in sharing knowledge between organizations.

Civic hackathons


Civic & social good hackathons facilitate people working together for a cause or a change. Developers, volunteers, entrepreneurs or tech enthusiasts are challenged to identify solutions while connecting with others and contributing to civic innovation.

Learn from others


Campaign organizations


A list of civic groups, organizations, and movements that regularly launch and lead specific campaigns to make meaningful changes in our society.

Specific campaigns

This is our collection of discrete tech-supported campaigns designed to create a change in the world. A campaign is the method in which we organize people to shift power. Technology has changed how campaigns operate, for the better (it’s never been easier or cheaper to reach and organize large numbers of people) and the worse (private data has been used to profile voters, and technology is accused of facilitating shallower relationships between supporters). See also our campaign tools collection or learn about campaign organizations.

Innovation teams and labs


While there are many organizations with “Labs” in their name, this category refers explicitly to innovation units inside of larger organizations and institutions.

Artistic interventions


Art can help you to navigate a particular problem, reflect, analyze and find inspiration. This category presents some artistic examples, exhibits and creative works that show how technology could be used to promote change.

Tech roadmaps


Examples of tools that mainly communicate how to use technology to support a strategy, address a goal and solve a problem.

Building inside government


Governments are well-situated to help solve problems in society. Here’s a collection of resources used by governments and their agencies to create technology-driven programs to innovate, connect with citizens, improve services like health, education, or economy, and in general lead transformation across the public sector.

  1. Open governance initiatives
  2. State and regional government technology

Building in the private sector


Many for-profit ventures seek to drive social good and civic engagement in the world. Tax status alone isn’t the only indicator of social impact.

  • Tech companies with civic teams: Though the teams’ names and place in the corporate hierarchy may frequently shift, some of the biggest consumer tech companies maintain teams dedicated to voting, elections, social good, volunteering, and other pro-social ways their tech can be used.
    • Civic features: A civic feature is when an otherwise mainstream app or technology creates action paths for their users to do good in the world, like registering to vote or enlisting to be an organ donor. (Civic Features blog)
  • Social impact design firms help clients build and launch social impact campaigns, products, and services on a consultant or work-for-hire basis.

Peer networks


Peer networks allow you to collaborate with others, share ideas and work together for a common interest or cause. Check them out and see how to experiment, research and achieve concrete actions.

Partner networks


This category refers to active alliances and partner programs that share expertise and support each other to accelerate change.