Open Causes

In the process of curating over 4,000 civic tech projects, we’ve begun to develop a comprehensive taxonomy of social causes. We present that taxonomy here in the hopes that you’ll find it useful in your own work, and so you can contribute back to improving it. Like everything else on the Civic Tech Field Guide, this collection is openly available for you to re-purpose and re-use under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. This taxonomy is also openly available as a CSV download.

We tag civic tech projects with the issue area or domain they address, their format, and their scale. This is an evolving taxonomy, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you see a missing area of work addressed by civic tech projects or would like to help develop it. We’re eager to learn how we can improve it.

We’ve been gradually introducing this taxonomy, so many of the projects already included in the Civic Tech Field Guide are not yet tagged. If you’d like to help by adding tags, you can do so by creating an account and editing a project Listing.

By Sustainable Development Goal

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.” The goals are intersectional.

1. No poverty
Poverty

2. Zero hunger
Hunger

3. Good health and well-being
Health
Suicide prevention

4. Quality education
Education and edtech
History
Libraries

5. Gender equality
Domestic violence

6. Clean water and sanitation
Water quality

7. Affordable and clean energy
Energy

8. Decent work and economic growth
Banking
Domestic work
Economic development
Labor
Taxes

9. Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
Air quality
Earthquakes
Infrastructure
Noise pollution
Parks

10. Reduced inequalities
Debt
Immigration
Racial equity
Refugees

11. Sustainable cities and communities
Census
Cities
Cycling
Homelessness
Housing
Land
Mass transit
Mobility
Permits
Urban planning

12. Responsible consumption and production
Agriculture
Sustainability

13. Climate action
Climate change

14. Life below water
Oceans
Floods

15. Life on land
Animals

16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions
Crime
Gun safety
Harassment
Human Rights
Peace
Recidivism

17. Partnerships for the goals

By issue area

Which domain does the project address?

Agriculture
Air quality
Animals
Banking
Census
Climate change
Crime
Cycling
Debt
Domestic violence
Domestic work
Earthquakes
Economic development
Education and edtech
Energy
Floods
Gun safety
Harassment
Health
History
Homelessness
Housing
Human Rights
Hunger
Immigration
Inequality
Infrastructure
Justice
Labor
Land
Libraries
Mass transit
Mental Health
Mobility
Noise pollution
Oceans
Parks
Peace
Permits
Police Violence
Poverty
Racial equity
Recidivism
Refugees
Suicide prevention
Sustainability
Taxes
Urban planning
Water quality

By format

How does the project manifest in the world? What is it?

APIs
Apps
Books
Browser extensions
Civic features
Commercial and/or mainstream products
Films
Guides
Legislation
Podcasts
Private data for public good
Reports
Research
Toolkits
Trainings
Videos
Wikis
Workshops

Methodology
Place-based
Tool re-use
Open source

By political unit

What political scale is the project designed to address?

Neighborhoods
Cities
Rural
State and Regional

By audience

Does the project seek to empower a specific audience?

Women
Youth
Refugees
Indigenous
Immigrants
LGBTQI+
People of color
Assistive tech for people with disabilities

By current event

Collections of projects that were launched to help with specific historic events.

Ukraine
Racial equity
Coronavirus
Brexit
Hong Kong protests
US 2020 Election Tech Handbook