Call for proposals: civic tech in hostile environments – repurpose existing software in new contexts

In one sentence

TICTeC Action Lab #6 is looking for an individual, organisation or joint team to produce a piece of work which repurposes existing software in a way which benefits civic tech organisations working in hostile environments.

About this project

TICTeC Action Lab #6 members agreed to commission a piece of work that will help civic tech organisations working in hostile environments, by repurposing and/or adapting existing software in new contexts. This follows on from discussions at our sixth Civic Tech Surgery about solutions to the challenges for civic tech organisations working in hostile environments – from facing everyday governmental resistance to working in conflict and post-conflict areas.

There is up to $3760 USD (inclusive of taxes) available for this work.

We are looking for a project which:

  • uses software/a platform which the team applying can demonstrate their familiarity with, and adapts this to work in a new context – this could be a collaboration, e.g.  between a developer who is familiar with the software and an organisation who need tools to progress their work
  • could be a pilot project for future work
  • focuses on the use of software in hostile environments
  • has clear plans to implement the work within the project timeline or soon afterwards
  • is scalable – i.e. whilst the funded project may be specific to one area, it shows potential to be used more widely in different areas
  • uses open source software, to encourage take-up by others beyond the scope of this initial project (e.g. publish the code/methodology on GitHub or similar platforms) – we expect the output to be able to be self-hosted by other users, to make it affordable and accessible
  • as well as producing the actual code and/or technical specifications for the proposed solution, to provide a short blog post reporting on the project, to be published on the TICTeC website
  • can be extended to multiple territories or languages

We strongly encourage applications which involve collaboration between different organisations/ institutions.

As an example of repurposing, see Popolo, which supports the development of reusable open source components, making it easier for civic developers to create civic software.

We expect work to start around mid-December and to be completed by mid-February at the latest – please provide a clear and realistic timescale in your application 
You can ask for input/support from the Action Lab members throughout the project – e.g. regular meetings to ask for feedback.

The grant will be paid in two instalments – one at the start of the project and one once all final deliverables and reports have been submitted.

What happens after the project

We intend to publish the work you produce, credited to you, on the TICTeC and mySociety website, licensed under a Creative Commons licence. We may make some light edits (beyond proofreading) before we publish. You will be free to make publicly available your own version should you wish to, and any other material based on the research you conducted. The project will then be disseminated by TICTeC Action Lab members, the TICTeC Labs Steering group, and the TICTeC community to ensure it’s used as much as possible. 

mySociety will convene a ‘report back’ event at the end of the TICTeC Labs programme to discuss how the programme went and the work commissioned by the programme and its participants. Authors of commissioned work will be invited to attend to present their work.


Applications closed on 30th November and applicants have been informed of the results. Details of the successful project will be shared here soon.

Any questions

Please send any queries or questions to