Hello civic tech enthusiasts, hello smart city nerds, hello citizen participation fans! Summer might be almost over, but new digital democracy projects are starting all over the world. Here’s what we’ve been reading this week.
1. “Why governments should be prioritising community involvement from the start“, by Nesta
This article starts with chicken shop boxes and ends with community engagement. By looking at the failure of the government’s recent knife free campaign, Nesta reflects on what makes efficient policy change and why citizens should be involved in these processes.
2. “Start-ups can show the way to public sector transformation“, by Public Technology
Govtech start-ups have the power to change the way governments operate… but they have to find a way to work with governments first. Hannah Johnson points out one of the core issues that lies at the heart of GovTech: change within governments is slow, and it can be difficult for small and agile start-ups to work with large institutions. As a result, precious innovations and ideas are getting lost along the way. However, there’s hope! Increased communication, more contact points between the two worlds renewed procurement practices are part of the equation.
3. “How to get more young people involved in civic tech, according to young people“, by Fedscoop
Coding it forward was founded in 2017 with the ambition to get more young graduates into the civic tech and gov tech sectors. It lists job applications, provides fellowships and has created a community of students and graduates passionate about technology and social change. In this article, the 2019 Coding it Forward fellows share their thoughts about what it takes to get young people into civic tech. Hint: make programs more visible and application processes less daunting.
4. “Digital Transformation – Rethinking Government As A Digital Platform And Citizens As Customers“, by Africa.com
“A good starting point for governments wanting to embark on digital transformation is to view citizens as customers. The public sector needs to make the citizen experience more user-friendly.” This article reflects about what’s needed to get innovative government services off the ground: a business mindset, public/private partnerships, and… funds.
5. “3 pioneering ideas to make social innovation flourish“, by Apolitical
Similarly to the previous article by Public Technology, this piece by Apolitical looks back at the barriers preventing digital social innovations (DSI) from flourishing in cities despite the great promises they hold. The author suggests that renewed procurement services, more digital skills training for civil servants and -gasp- randomised funding could help develop DSIs.