The Civic Tech Graveyard - Civic Tech Field Guide
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The Civic Tech Graveyard

A gravestone reading, RIP Civic Tech Project
Illustration by Lorin Camargo

The Civic Tech Graveyard

The Civic Tech Graveyard is where we where you can visit, celebrate, and pay your respects to the projects that are no longer with us. This collection was gathered for the purposes of original research by Micah Sifry and Matt Stempeck and continues to be updated with new entrants.

One of the main objectives of the Civic Tech Field Guide is to help the field’s builders and funders learn what didn’t work, so they can make and fund things that do. Which makes this page one of the most important on this site.

Some of the projects were experiments that proved a point and weren’t meant to endure. Others were fantastic, heavily funded flame-outs that ignored lessons learned by their predecessors. As The Museum of Failure puts it, “The majority of all innovation projects fail and the museum showcases these failures to provide visitors a fascinating learning experience. Every item provides unique insight into the risky business of innovation.” Ditto.

Or, as the authors of Digital Tools for a Responsive Government put it, “The history of civic technology is littered with discarded tools. Too often, well-intentioned city governments establish tools that never gain user attention, tools that obtain attention from select communities but fail to attract a broad user base over time, and tools that do little more than create a theater of civic engagement without actually increasing government responsiveness, thereby leading to a quick demise.”

Related reading

Projects No Longer With Us

You can help add to the Civic Tech Graveyard by submitting a project that’s missing or contacting us.

Open Up Contracting

A five-year partnership that hoped to improve procurement through open data and transparency

cat-icon Hivos Foundation, Grote Marktstraat, The Hague, Netherlands

BusKeeper

An app that allows citizens to easily measure and report when public buses are driving past the speed limit

cat-icon Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico

Citizenscape

Citizenscape was a simple, manageable and cost-effective way for you to start getting involved in all the local social media conversation.

#StopTheCoup UK

Resist the Parliament Shutdown. protest map, calendar, updates, posters.

cat-icon United Kingdom

Belisar.io

A bot of legislative proximity that seeks to promote communication between government and citizens through artificial intelligence.

Deutschland Zusammen

For more general tasks, including things like walking pets or sending mail, Deutschland Zusammen, or Germany Together, connects those willing to help

Civic Exchange EU

A platform for improving public services by showcasing and promoting the reuse of civic software.

cat-icon Europe

MindLab

Europe's best framework for developing and operating a business

cat-icon MindLab, Slotsholmsgade 12, 1216 Copenhagen Municipality, København K, Denmark

Konsultimi Publik.al

Zgjidhni një nga Kuvendet në nivel kombëtar ose rajonal për t’u bërë pjesë e debateve publike mbi ligjet që janë në procedurë miratimi.

cat-icon Albania

Reported.ly

Reported.ly wrapped up in August 2016 but during its brief yet impactful run, its international team of journalists surfaced breaking news and reported on human rights and social justice issues through the expansive lens of social media.

Humans of the Balkans

Balkan is a story. Long, intricate, some would even say complicated. We feel the real Balkan is about its people and the stories they have to tell. If you start from there, it is that simple! If you come from Balkan, you live there or if you have a Balkan story to tell, we welcome you and your story to the Humans of the Balkan’s.

cat-icon Balkans

Colaboratório de Participação e Desenvolvimento

Opened the prioritization phase of themes for the 4th Brazilian Action Plan

cat-icon Brazil

OpenSources

Was a professionally curated lists of online sources, available free for public use

cat-icon North Andover, Massachusetts

4Facts

4Facts is a tool that allows you to easily evaluate the credibility of your posts by commenting and flagging problems encountered in various articles. Check the facts, compete with the pros, and raise your media literacy!

FiB

A misinformation fighting extension for Facebook News Feed

cat-icon 222 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Dispute Finder Archive

The Dispute Finder Firefox Extension helps you know when information you read is disputed by highlighting snippets if they make a disputed claim

DeepFreeze

DeepFreeze is a journalism reference resource, conceived to supply a reader with easily-digested information to determine the reliability of an individual writer or outlet.

dBunk(r)

dBunk(r) unlocks a user’s potential to share in the world’s deepest knowledge, clearest observations, and brightest thoughts.

BS Detector

A browser extension that alerts users to unreliable news sources.

Switching social

ethical, easy-to-use and privacy-conscious alternatives to popular internet services

Public-Interest-Tech

It refers to the study and application of technology expertise to advance the public interest/generate public benefits/promote the public good.

Trutheum

By using the power of Ethereum, distributed networks and crowdfunding, we are building a system that will reward people who help surface the truth.

cat-icon Zug, Switzerland

Factlnk

With Factlink we have created a layer over the web that shows discussions inside the text you are reading.

cat-icon 2414 San Jose Ave CA 94501 Alameda United States of America

Organisational Digital Maturity Assessment Criteria

The Voluntary Sector Digital Maturity Matrix was a free tool provided by NCVO to assess the current maturity of a voluntary sector organisation's digital capability, compared with its desired target state. Through a simple self-assessment, you could understand where your organisation needs to invest to reach digital excellence.

Tech Solidarity

Tech Solidarity was a 501(c)4 grass-roots organization with the motto 'technology serves people'. It represents a failed attempt in the period 2016-2018 to organize tech workers around an ethical agenda.

cat-icon San Francisco, CA, USA

Nametag.chat

Tool for creating small online group discussions around an issue, originally created for political campaigning in the US

Placemark Story

Placemark Story was a way to create and share interactive map stories.

OpenBlock

OpenBlock is a web application and RESTful service that allows users to browse and search their local area for "hyper-local news

MeRepresenta

Somos uma união de coletivos formados por mulheres, pessoas negras e LGBT+ com o objetivo de diminuir a distância entre eleitoras/es e candidatas/os comprometidas/os com os direitos sociais, civis e políticos da população.

cat-icon Brazil

Sidewalk Toronto

A vision for unlocking the eastern waterfront’s potential.

cat-icon 307 Lake Shore Blvd E, Toronto, ON M5A 1C1, Canada

Martus

Martus was a free, open source, secure information collection and management tool that empowers these rights activists to be stronger in their fight against injustice and abuse.

cat-icon 480 South California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA
An iron law of government technology: no project ever "fails" or "ends", they merely are "being reimainging" or are "on hold"