Civic Tech projects in the UK date back to at least 1996, which is when a small group of developers and interested people got together and formed UKCOD (UK Citizens Online Democracy), a politically neutral group to explore the democratic potential of the internet.

UKCOD went on to become what mySociety is today, with many civic tech projects coming, going, remaining or thriving in the meantime (here’s a handy timeline of mySociety/UKCOD projects since 1996).

More recently, London-based organisations such as Newspeak House, Democracy Club and Citizen Beta have played a key role in growing and convening the UK civic tech scene, with regular meet-ups, crowd-sourcing projects and fellowship programmes.

Further north, The Federation in Manchester offers free working space for a thriving community of tech entrepreneurs tackling social issues and developing civic technology platforms.

Thanks in part to work by civic tech advocates, the UK saw the creation of the Government Digital Service (GDS) in 2011, which has transformed the provision of many online public services in the UK. Many of GDS’s digital models have been adopted by other countries around the world.

Suggested resources:

Projects

#StopTheCoup UK

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

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...

Altmetric’s Researcher Data Access Program

Providing free access to Altmetric data for those who study how research is shared and communicated online

mapMarkerGrey 6 Briset Street, Clerkenwell, ...

BBC News Labs

Founded in 2012, BBC News Labs is an innovation incubator charged with driving innovation for BBC News.

PIP Kit

Work together on the UK Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit claim form

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...
mapMarkerGrey The Alan Turing Institute, Eus...

Privacy International

We’re here to protect democracy, defend people's dignity, and demand accountability from the powerful institutions who breach public trust.

mapMarkerGrey 62 Britton Street, London EC1M...

Open Climate Fix

Uses open-science to mitigate climate change. Open Climate Fix is a new non-profit research and development lab, totally focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible.

mapMarkerGrey 240 Bellenden Road London, SE1...

Forensic Architecture

Uses a mix of cutting edge technologies including 3D modeling, data mining, machine learning, pattern analysis, and virtual reality, to conduct independent investigations into human rights abuses and police killings

mapMarkerGrey University of London, Malet St...

Doxbox Trustbot

The portable unit interviews users about the apps, services and digital providers they interact with, reveals what these providers know about their users, then tells the user stories about what the effects of this may be and provides recommendations regarding their level of trustworthiness, relating to the individual themselves and to other people who may be more or less impacted by the same use or misuse of the data that accumulates around their digital life.

BeeMonitor

Open source project using Raspberry Pis and sensors to learn about the health of a bee colony by monitoring the temperature and humidity inside and outside the hive over multiple years.

mapMarkerGrey Snowdonia National Park, Unite...

TICTeC Local

Exploring Civic Tech in Local Communities TICTeC Local is the annual conference from mySociety that focuses directly on the use of Civic Tech in communities and local government.

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...

Data Justice Conference 2020: Civic Participation in the Datafied Society

The conference will bring together international scholars, practitioners, activists, and community groups to discuss the possibilities and challenges of civic participation in a datafied society.

mapMarkerGrey Cardiff University, Cardiff CF...

Citizen Science (book)

If you are a professional researcher who wants to learn more about how to get started with designing your citizen science project, this is a good place to start

mapMarkerGrey Gower Street, London, UK...

UK official statistics on homelessness: comparisons, processes and definitions

This tool will help you to compare official statistics on homelessness and rough sleeping across the UK, with information provided on each of the four countries.

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...

Hate speech: measures and counter-measures

Measuring, analysing and countering online hate speech with advanced computational methods

mapMarkerGrey 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB...

Flourish!

We made a board game to discuss local economic policy ideas.

mapMarkerGrey 8 Victoria Embankment, London,...
mapMarkerGrey 86-90 Paul Street, London, EC2...

Social Tech Guide

It is the most comprehensive collection of inspiring examples of tech transforming lives and communities for the better.

mapMarkerGrey Oxford, U.K...

Radical visions of future government

17 visions of the future of government. Features essays, provocations, thought experiments, fiction, speculative design and original art, with each one asking the reader to consider the implications of an idea about something fundamentally different in the future.

mapMarkerGrey 58 Victoria Embankment London...

Apolitical 100 digital government

We’re excited to share our second annual list of the World's 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government.

mapMarkerGrey PUBLIC Hall 1 Horse Guards Av...

mySociety Research

Investigates the impact of Civic Technology tools: those we produce ourselves, and those from the wider community.

mapMarkerGrey 483 Green Lanes, London, N13...

Yoti

The simple, most secure way to prove your identity online and in person.

mapMarkerGrey 130 Fenchurch St Langbourn, L...

Flying High

Flying High is a collaborative engagement with cities, technologists and researchers, regulators, government, public services and citizens to shape the future of urban drone use in the UK to meet local needs.

mapMarkerGrey Bradford, London, Preston, Sou...

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.

Readie EU

Readie was a European digital policy centre that promoted digital policies that benefit society and drive economic growth.

mapMarkerGrey 58 Victoria Embankment, Londo...

openDemocracy

Through reporting and analysis of social and political issues, we seek to educate citizens to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world.

mapMarkerGrey The Print House, 18 Ashwin St...

MisinfoCon London

To learning about current projects and initiatives and brainstorm practical applications or recommendations related to topics.

mapMarkerGrey Royal Society of the Arts Lond...

FACTMATA

Empowering everyone with a better understanding of content.

mapMarkerGrey 114 Whitechapel High St. Londo...

PoliMonitor

A political data and intelligence start-up helping to connect the public and politicians.

mapMarkerGrey TechHub London, Clere Street, ...

Thinking about GovTech: A brief guide for policymakers

(PDF) Thinking about GovTech (2019) introduces the concept of GovTech and identifies eight activities that policymakers can undertake to foster national GovTech innovation ecosystems and help to steer them towards positive outcomes for citizens and public administrators.

mapMarkerGrey 53 Milverton Road, London, UK...

Swap my Vote

Platform that allows voting partners to make their votes count in a different constituency, where each voter’s first preference has a better chance of winning a seat

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...

Government Design Systems

A list of design systems and CSS frameworks used by governments around the world

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...

GDS Service Standard

Criteria to help government create and run good digital services

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...

London Civic Innovation Challenge

In partnership with the Social Tech Trust, the Civic Innovation Challenge is calling on tech startups and innovators to develop solutions to London’s biggest challenges.

mapMarkerGrey City Hall, London, UK...

Policy Tracker

Tracks progress on all of the government’s manifesto promises, includes explainers and ways to get more involved.

mapMarkerGrey United Kingdom...

the mySociety logoCurated by mySociety

Established in 2003, mySociety is a not for profit group pioneering the use of online technologies to empower citizens to take their first steps towards greater civic participation.

We help people be active citizens with technology, research and data that individuals, journalists, and civil society can use, openly and for free.

mySociety works across three interlinked practice areas: Transparency, Democracy and Community — each underpinned by research, sector building through the global Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC) and appropriate commercial work via SocietyWorks.

Curators are not responsible for all of the entries in their categories.

Would you like to become a curator of the Civic Tech Field Guide? Drop us a quick note.

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