Civic Tech and GovTech—“Potato, potato”, I can hear you thinking. Although many amongst us use the term interchangeably, there are important differences between both. This article sheds a light upon the existing confusion there is between Civic Tech and GovTech. Time to demystify the differences!

Over the past couple of years, both the terms “Civic Tech” and “GovTech” have rapidly emerged.

Civic Tech vs. GovTech: a comparison

Compared to GovTech, which includes a wide range of technologies provided to governments to increase the efficiency of their internal operations, Civic Tech has its focus on informing, engaging and connecting citizens with their government and one another to generally improve the public good.

Let’s take a look at how these two spaces differ from each other:

Can a company be in both the Civic Tech and GovTech space?

Definitely. In fact, that’s exactly where the sweet spot is for many civic tech companies. Selling your civic tech solution to public agencies, often through a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, is a good way to go. This means that your solution has to serve both the community of citizens as your lead beneficiary and the government as your customer.

What about civic engagement companies? 

Translated to the context of a civic engagement solution, this implies that you consider the community participation itself only as a part of a way longer value chain, that also takes the internal operations into account.

At CitizenLab, for instance, we developed a platform that not only helps public agencies engage their citizens, but also creates internal efficiencies afterwards by having the end-to-end workflow of processing and analyzing the civic input as automated as possible. 

Do you want to get started with citizen engagement in your city or municipality? Talk to one of our experts today!
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