Tech for Public Challenges

There’s a rich ecosystem of related and overlapping fields with civic tech, including those that predate civic tech. People define the field with broader or more narrow scopes in mind, so here we track related work areas.

Browse Tech for Public Challenges

  1. Manage natural resources
  2. Fintech for good
  3. Housing
  4. Environment and sustainability – Created to make a city, community, home or person more environmentally friendly. See also Climate.
  5. Mobility – Projects to digitize and make more accessible the means of getting around, usually with an eye toward reducing traffic and reliance on cars.
  6. Citizen science– Citizen science is the practice where regular people can get involved in the scientific process, usually through improved access to cheaper hardware, like sensors, cameras, and computers, and through methods like open innovation and crowdsourcing. See also: sensors.
  7. Legal tech – Tech to democratize legal understanding, resources, and access to expertise, and to improve the user experience of legal institutions.
  8. Nonprofit tech – Tech and meta-organizations that support the mission of non-profits and charities. Includes mainstream productivity software (like LibreOffice) as well as non-profit-specific tech (like donation management software).
  9. Disaster response and humanitarian tech – There’s a long tradition of volunteer technologists rallying to aid communities in the aftermath of a disaster or humanitarian crisis. Many of the problems and solutions, such as managing skilled volunteers remotely, apply to other domains in the Civic Tech Field Guide. See also: Participatory Aid.
  10. Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) – Information & Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) is the practice of applying what we now simply call ‘tech’ to developing contexts. Examples include projects like One Laptop Per Child and SMS surveys to reach people in rural areas. ICT4D too often relies on outside intervention from well-meaning but non-local actors, and has been criticized as focusing on shiny new tech when longstanding underlying issues pose a graver threat to human development.
  11. Digital Public Infrastructure – A renewed effort to build out truly public digital spaces, akin to the role of public media in TV and radio.