CitizenLab and

Because community engagement should be open to all

Why is open-source important?

As a digital democracy platform, we work with hundreds of governments and organisations to make public decision-making more transparent and collaborative. Democracy belongs to all of us, and the algorithms shaping our institutions should be visible to everyone.

By opening up our code, we are practicing what we preach and strengthening community engagement by increasing transparency.

As a company dedicated to making a positive social impact, we also prioritise purpose over profit. Being open-source means we can continue to remove barriers to participation and give even more communities access to the platform.

Who benefits from our 
open-source model?

It’s our mission to make democratic processes more open and equitable. This open innovation model enables organisations, community groups,  and political parties with limited resources to change the way they make decisions and engage their communities using our software.

We believe this also benefits our existing clients. Communities across the globe are demanding more transparency from democratic institutions, and choosing an open-source provider can help foster trust in their local government. In the future, it will also enable cities and organisations to develop custom integrations and plug-ins, to seamlessly integrate our platform with other systems they’re using.

What does our open-source 
model include?

We've designed an open core model that frees up our essential functionalities. This means organisations can now run the platform on their servers and power basic engagement projects, free of charge. This open-source license does not include technical support or training from the CitizenLab team.

Our standard and premium functionalities will be source available, which means that the code is accessible but not replicable. The code will be openly viewable on our GitHub page from 31 March onwards, but cities interested in these plans still have to purchase a license through us. For more information about our features, check out our plans page.

We're working on creating documentation to support organisations who want to use our code, and will add to it as we get community feedback and our platform grows.

Check out our developer platform