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Civic Technology

Civic technology is an exciting development in the future of the relationship between communities, technology and government.  Civic technology brings together open civic data, technology and a set of practices that emphasize citizen involvement, coproduction and collaboration. Some of the  practices involved include Code for America Fellowships and Brigades, Hackathons and Civic Hacking and involvement of many sectors in planning and development.


Civic Tech Lab  https://civictech.us/

Civic Tech Reading List https://abhinemani.com/civictechcourse/readings/

Code for America   https://www.codeforamerica.org/

Emerson College Engagement Lab  https://elab.emerson.edu/

The Knight Foundation  https://knightfoundation.org/

Living Cities   https://www.livingcities.org/

My Society   https://www.mysociety.org/

Tichtec Knowlege Base https://tictec.mysociety.org/resources/

UNC Civic Technology Microsite https://www.sog.unc.edu/resources/microsites/civictech (John B. Stephens)


Aguerre, C., & Bonina, C. (2023). Open government, civic tech and digital platforms in Latin America: A governance study of Montevideo's urban app ‘Por Mi Barrio’. Information Systems Journal. DOI: 10.1111/isj.12468

Aitamurto, T., Chen, K., Cherif, A., Galli, J. S., & Santana, L. (2016, October). Civic CrowdAnalytics: Making sense of crowdsourced civic input with big data tools. In Proceedings of the 20th International Academic Mindtrek Conference (pp. 86-94). ACM.

Alvarado Garcia, A., Young, A. L., & Dombrowski, L. (2017). On Making Data Actionable: How Activists Use Imperfect Data to Foster Social Change for Human Rights Violations in Mexico. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 1(CSCW), 1-19.

Aragón, P., Alvarado Garcia, A., Le Dantec, C. A., Flores-Saviaga, C., & Saldivar, J. (2020, October). Civic Technologies: Research, Practice and Open Challenges. In Conference Companion Publication of the 2020 on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (pp. 537-545).

Baack, S. (2018). Civic tech at mySociety: How the imagined affordances of data shape data activism. Krisis, (1).

Balestrini, M., Rogers, Y., Hassan, C., Creus, J., King, M., & Marshall, P. (2017, May). A city in common: a framework to orchestrate large-scale citizen engagement around urban issues. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2282-2294).

Baccarne, B., Evens, T., & De Marez, L. (2020). Understanding Civic Crowdfunding as a Mechanism for Leveraging Civic Engagement and Urban Innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 10(5), 51-66.

Boehner, K., & DiSalvo, C. (2016, May). Data, design and civics: An exploratory study of civic tech. In
Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2970-2981). ACM.

Chatwin, M., & Mayne, J. (2020). Improving Monitoring and Evaluation in the Civic Tech Ecosystem: Applying Contribution Analysis to Digital Transformation. JeDEM-eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government, 12(2), 216-241.

Cheruiyot, D., Baack, S., & Ferrer-Conill, R. (2019). Data journalism beyond legacy media: The case of African and European civic technology organizations. Digital Journalism, 7(9), 1215-1229.

Choi, J., & Tausczik, Y. (2017, February). Characteristics of collaboration in the emerging practice of open data analysis. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work and social computing (pp. 835-846).

Chung, A., Woo, H., & Lee, K. (2021). Understanding the information diffusion of tweets of a non-profit organization that targets female audiences: an examination of Women Who Code's tweets. Journal of Communication Management, 25(1), 68-84.

Cinnamon, J. (2023). On data cultures and the prehistories of smart urbanism in “Africa’s Digital City”. Urban Geography, 44(5), 850-870.

Clark, B. Y., & Brudney, J. L. (2019). Citizen Representation in City Government-Driven Crowdsourcing. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 28(5), 883-910.

Corbett, E., & Le Dantec, C. A. (2019). ‘Removing Barriers’ and ‘Creating Distance’: Exploring the Logics of Efficiency and Trust in Civic Technology. Media and Communication, 7(3), 104-113.

Corbett, E., & Le Dantec, C. (2021, May). Designing Civic Technology with Trust. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-17).

Crittenden, C. (2023). Delivering democracy. Science, 381(6654), 132-132.

Dabo, A., & Pouyé, R. (2022). Assessing Civic Tech That Works to Build# TheAfricaWeWant.European Democracy Hub. https://europeandemocracyhub.epd.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Civic-tech-in-Africa-v3.pdf

David, N., Justice, J.B. & McNutt, J.G. (2018).  Smart Cities, Transparency, Civic Technology and Reinventing Government.[19-34]. In M. P Rodríguez Bolívar ed. Smart Technologies for Smart Governments. Transparency, Efficiency and Organizational Issues. edited by Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar. Berlin: Springer.

David, N., & McNutt, J. (2019). Building a Workforce for Smart City Governance: Challenges and Opportunities for the Planning and Administrative Professions. In Informatics.  6 (4), 47.

Dawes, S. S., Vidiasova, L., & Parkhimovich, O. (2016). Planning and designing open government data programs: An ecosystem approach. Government Information Quarterly, 33(1), 15-27.

Dietrich, D. (2015). The role of civic tech communities in PSI reuse and open data policies. European Public Sector Information Platform Topic Report, 5, 2015.

Duberry, J. (2022). AI and civic tech: Engaging citizens in decision-making processes but not without risks. In Artificial Intelligence and Democracy (pp. 195-224). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Fan, F. T., Chen, S. L., Kao, C. L., Murphy, M., Price, M., & Barry, L. (2019). Citizens, Politics, and Civic Technology: A Conversation with g0v and EDGI. East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal, 13(2), 279-297.

Frappier, T. (2023). Online Assemblies: Civic Technologies Reshaping the Public Space. 
arXiv preprint arXiv:2303.13522.

Gilman, H. R. (2016). Participatory budgeting and civic tech: The revival of citizen engagement. Georgetown University Press.

Gilman, H. R. (2017). Civic tech for urban collaborative governance. PS: Political Science & Politics, 50(3), 744-750.

Golsteijn, C., Gallacher, S., Capra, L., & Rogers, Y. (2016, June). Sens-Us: Designing innovative civic technology for the public good. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 39-49). ACM.

Gordon, E., & Lopez, R. A. (2019). The practice of civic tech: Tensions in the adoption and use of new technologies in community based organizations. Media and Communication, 7(3), 57-68.

Gordon, E., & Mihailidis, P. (Eds.). (2016). Civic media: Technology, design, practice. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Graeff, E. E. C. (2018). Evaluating civic technology design for citizen empowerment (Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Graeff, E. (2018). The Need for Empowerment-based Design in Civic Technology. In The Internet, Policy & Politics Conference.

Graeff, E., & Matias, J. N. (2015, February). Making drones civic. Values and design principles for civic technology. In International Studies Association’s 56th Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.

Hamm, A., Shibuya, Y., Ullrich, S., & Cerratto Pargman, T. C. (2021, May). What makes civic tech initiatives to last over time? Dissecting two global cases. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-17).

Hamm, A., Shibuya, Y., Pargman, T. C., Bendor, R., Hansen, N. B., Raetzsch, C., ... & Schouten, B. (2023). Failed yet successful: Learning from discontinued civic tech initiatives.. In Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’23), April 23–28, 2023, Hamburg, Germany. ACM, New York, NY, USA.

Hawken, S., Leao, S. Z., Gudes, O., Izadpanahi, P., Viswanath, K., & Petit, C. (2020). Safer cities for women: Global and local innovations with Open Data and civic technology. In Open Cities| Open Data (pp. 85-105). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

Hébert, M. K. (2014). Come hack with me: Adapting anthropological training to work in civic innovation. Practicing Anthropology, 36(2), 32-36.

Hendler, J., Sosnik, O., Prudner, G., Chernicoff, D., McCarthy, J., Ree, O., & Keefe, C. (2016). Engines of Change: What Civic Tech Can Learn from Social Movements. Omidyar Network, 1-52.

Hintz, A., Dencik, L., Redden, J., & Trere, E. (2023). Civic participation in the datafied society: Introduction. International Journal of Communication, 17, 3549-3561.

Hou, Y. (2016, February). Understand the design and implementation of civic technologies in public organizations. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion (pp. 147-150). ACM.

Hou, Y., & Lampe, C. (2017, June). Sustainable hacking: characteristics of the design and adoption of civic hacking projects. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (pp. 125-134). ACM.

Hou, Y., & Wang, D. (2017). Hacking with NPOs: collaborative analytics and broker roles in civic data hackathons. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 1(CSCW), 53.

Husain, S. O., Franklin, A., & Roep, D. (2019). Decentralizing geographies of political action: civic tech and place-based municipalism. Journal of Peer Production, 13.

Johnson, I. G., Puussaar, A., Manuel, J., & Wright, P. (2018). Neighbourhood Data: Exploring the Role of Open Data in Locally Devolved Policymaking Processes. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 2(CSCW), 1-20.

Johnson, P. & Robinson, P. (2014). Civic hackathons: Innovation, procurement, or civic engagement?.
Review of Policy Research, 31(4), 349-357.

Johnson, P. A., Robinson, P. J., & Philpot, S. (2020). Type, tweet, tap, and pass: How smart city technology is creating a transactional citizen. Government Information Quarterly, 37(1), 101414.

Justice, J., McNutt, J.G. Melitski,  J., Ahn, M.,  David, N.,  Siddiqui, S. & Ronquillo, J.C. (2018). The Civic Technology Movement: Implications for Nonprofit Theory and Practice. (89) In McNutt, J.G.  (ed)  Technology, Activism and Social Justice in a Digital Age. London & New York:  Oxford University Press. 

Kontokosta, C. E. (2016). The quantified community and neighborhood labs: A framework for computational urban science and civic technology innovation. Journal of Urban Technology, 23(4), 67-84.

Kontokosta, C. E., & Malik, A. (2018). The Resilience to Emergencies and Disasters Index: Applying big data to benchmark and validate neighborhood resilience capacity. Sustainable cities and society, 36, 272-285.

Knutas, A., Palacin, V., Maccani, G., & Helfert, M. (2019, May). Software engineering in civic tech a case study about code for Ireland. In Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Society (pp. 41-50). IEEE Press.

Knutas, A., Siemon, D., Tylosky, N., & Maccani, G. (2023). Contradicting Motivations in Civic Tech Software Development: Analysis of a Grassroots Project. arXivpreprint arXiv:2302.03469.

Kwon, K. H., Shao, C., & Nah, S. (2021). Localized social media and civic life: Motivations, trust, and civic participation in local community contexts. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 18(1), 55-69.

Living Cities  (2012). Cities, L. (2012). Field scan of civic technology. Living Cities

Mačiulienė, M., & Skaržauskienė, A. (2020). Building the capacities of civic tech communities through digital data analytics. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 5(4), 244-250.

Mather, L. W., & Robinson, P. (2022). Durable Civic Technology: Minecraft as a Tool in Urban Planning Public Consultation. In Research Anthology on Citizen Engagement and Activism for Social Change (pp. 608-630). IGI Global.

May, A., & Ross, T. (2018). The design of civic technology: factors that influence public participation and impact. Ergonomics, 61(2), 214-225.

McCord, C. W., & Becker, C. (2023). Beyond Transactional Democracy: A Study of Civic Tech in Canada. arXiv preprint arXiv:2302.06651.

McKenna, H. P. (2017). Civic tech and ambient data in the public realm: challenges and opportunities for learning cities and smart cities. In Distributed, Ambient and Pervasive Interactions: 5th International Conference, DAPI 2017, Held as Part of HCI International 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 9–14, 2017, Proceedings 5 (pp. 312-331). Springer International Publishing.

McMillan, D., Engström, A., Lampinen, A., & Brown, B. (2016, May). Data and the City. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2933-2944). ACM.

McNutt, J. G., & Goldkind, L. (2020). Civic Technology and Data for Good: Evolutionary Developments or Disruptive Change in E-Participation?. In Digital Government and Achieving E-Public Participation: Emerging Research and Opportunities (pp. 124-142). IGI Global.

McNutt, J.G., Justice, J.B., Melitski, M.J, Ahn, M.J., Siddiqui, S, Carter, D.T. & Kline, A. D. (2016).  The diffusion of civic technology and open government in the United States.  Information Polity 21:  153-170.

Meng, A., DiSalvo, C., & Zegura, E. (2019). Collaborative Data Work Towards a Caring Democracy. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 3(CSCW), 1-23.

Nah, S., & Yamamoto, M. (2017). Civic technology and community building: Interaction effects between integrated connectedness to a storytelling network (ICSN) and Internet and mobile uses on civic participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 22(4), 179-195.

Network Impact. (2015). Assessing Civic Tech: Case Studies and Resources for Tracking Outcomes. The Knight Foundation.  https://knightfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/NI_Knight_CivicTechAssessment_Mar2015.pdf

Pahlka, J. (2023). Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better. Metropolitan Books.

Perng, S. Y., & Kitchin, R. (2018). Solutions and frictions in civic hacking: collaboratively designing and building wait time predictions for an immigration office. Social & Cultural Geography, 19(1), 1-20.

Peixoto, T., & Sifry, M. L. (2017). Civic tech in the global south: assessing technology for the public good.World Bank https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/3d195678-ac78-536e-9c2c-c269f1b48ed2

Robinson, P. J., & Johnson, P. A. (2016). Civic hackathons: New terrain for local government-citizen interaction?. Urban Planning, 1(2), 65-74.

Rumbul, R. (2016, September). ICT and citizen efficacy: the role of civic technology in facilitating government accountability and citizen confidence. In IFIP World Information Technology Forum (pp. 213-222). Springer, Cham.

Rumbul, R. (2015). Who Benefits From Civic Technology? Demographic and public attitudes research into the users of civic technology. London: mySociety.

Rumbul, R. (2016). Developing transparency through digital means? Examining institutional responses to civic technology in Latin America. JeDEM-eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government, 8(3), 12-31.

Rumbul, R. (2016). Developing transparency through digital means? Examining institutional responses to civic technology in Latin America. JeDEM-eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government, 8(3), 12-31.

Saldivar, J., Parra, C., Alcaraz, M., Arteta, R., & Cernuzzi, L. (2018). Civic Technology for Social Innovation. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 27(3-6), 1215-1253.

Schrock, A. R. (2019). What is Civic Tech? Defining a Practice of Technical Pluralism. In The Right to the Smart City (pp. 125-133). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Skarzauskiene, A., & Maciuliene, M. (2017, July). Towards Sustainable Civic Technologies: Mapping the Lithuanian Ecosystem. In ECSM 2017 4th European Conference on Social Media (p. 273). Academic Conferences and publishing limited.

Skaržauskienė, A. (2022). Monitoring collective intelligence in Lithuania’s online communities. In Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences| 2022 (pp. 357-365). University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Skaržauskienė, A., & Mačiulienė, M. (2020, October). Mapping international civic technologies platforms. In Informatics . 7,(4),. 46- https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics7040046

Shaw, E. (2018). Skipping Ahead to the Good Part: The Role of Civic Technology in Achieving the Promise of E-Government. JeDEM-eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government, 10(2), 74-96.

Shibuya, Y., Hamm, A., & Raetzsch, C. (2021). From data to discourse: How communicating civic data can provide a participatory structure for sustainable cities and communities. In International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference. MISC.

Sieber, R. E., & Johnson, P. A. (2015). Civic open data at a crossroads: Dominant models and current challenges. Government Information Quarterly, 32(3), 308-315.

Sifry, M., Stempeck, M. & Simpson, E. (2016). Civic tech field guide. https://civictech.guide/

Stepasiuk, T. (2014). Civic hacking: A motivational perspective. New Visions in Public Affairs, 6, 21-30.

Stephens, J. (2017). Civic Technology: Open Data and Citizen Volunteers as a Resource for North Carolina Local Governments.  Chapel Hill, NC: School of Government, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Suter, A., Kaiser, L., Dušek, M., Hasler, F., & Tappert, S. (2024). Digital rights to the city: local practices and negotiations of urban space on Decidim. Urban Planning, 9(1).

Suzuki, K. (2022). A North–South Problem in Civic-Tech and Volunteered Geographic Information as Countermeasures of COVID-19: A Brief Overview. SN Computer Science, 3(5), 396.

Szewczuk-Stępień, M., & Jurczyk-Bunkowska, M. (2020). The concept of a civic technology tool for empowering social innovations. Journal of Economics and Management, 39(1), 149-167.

Viano, C., Tsardanidis, G., Dorato, L., Ruggeri, A., Zanasi, A., Zgeras, G., ... & Vlachokyriakos, V. (2023). Living labs for civic technologies: a case study. Community infrastructuring for a volunteer firefighting service. Frontiers in Public Health, 11, 1189226.

Vîlceanu, D. M. (2022, March). Civic Technology. In Proceedings of the 26th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities (pp. 107-112). Scientia Moralitas Research Institute.

Wilson, B., & Chakraborty, A. (2019). Planning Smart (er) Cities: The Promise of Civic Technology. Journal of Urban Technology, 1-23.

Wilson, C. (2020). The socialization of civic participation norms in government?: Assessing the effect of the Open Government Partnership on countries'e-participation. Government Information Quarterly, 37(4), 101476.

Wirtz, B. W., Daiser, P., Thomas, M. J., & Schmöe, M. (2018). Open government implementation: an exploratory survey of public administration officials. International Journal of Electronic Governance, 10(4), 359-381.

Wissenbach, K. R. (2019). Accounting for power in transnational civic tech activism: A communication-based analytical framework for media practice. International Communication Gazette, 1748048519832779.

Yoshida, M., & Thammetar, T. (2021). Education between govtech and civic tech. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 16(4), 52-68.

Yuan, Q. (2019, June). Co-production of Public Service and Information Technology: A Literature Review. In 20th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (pp. 123-132). ACM.

Zhang, W., Lim, G., Perrault, S., & Wang, C. (2022). A Review of Research on Civic Technology: Definitions, Theories, History and Insights. arXiv preprint arXiv:2204.11461.

(c) 2019-2024  by John G. McNutt. All Rights Reserved. Limited Permission is Granted for Reproduction for Non-Commercial Educational Purposes provided that the material remain in its original form and proper credit is extended.   Disclaimer:   The content of all linked sites are beyond my control and I assume no responsibility for their content. Revised  02/22/24