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 organizations 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 prioritize 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?

We've designed an open core model that frees up our essential functionalities. This means organizations 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 are source available, which means that the code is accessible but can’t be used without purchasing a license with us. For more information about our features, check out our plans page.

What does our open-source model include?

CitizenLab adopts a so-called open-core model, which means that there are two product editions available:

• CitizenLab’s Free Edition includes all core functionalities, freely available under the AGPLv3 license. This edition is designed for small organisations running their next engagement project.

• CitizenLab Commercial Edition, including extra features described under Standard/Premium, are available by the paid commercial license. This edition is your best option if you plan to run many engagement projects, in order to have access to more back-office functionalities and manage your platform efficiently.

To make it easier to find our open-source code, we have a separate Github code repository with a pure open-source version of the product called citizenlab-oss. All code has an AGPLv3 license. The open-source code can be found here.

If you’re interested in the full source code of the product, you can find it in our main Gthub repository here. The code in this repository is source-available and covered by our own commercial license. The license stipulates that everyone is free to read the code, but in order to make use of it for any production purposes, a commercial subscription is required. If you’re interested in purchasing a license, contact our team.

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