Don’t build it: a practical guide for those building Civic Tech

April 20, 2021 from 1:20 pm to 1:30 pm

Speaker: Luke Jordan

Part of the Hearing every voice: lessons learned from online deliberation projects session of TICTeC Show and Tells 2021
Tuesday 20th April, 15:00 – 16:00 BST

Luke introduces a brand new guide that distills lessons learned from four years spent building Grassroot, a civic technology platform in South Africa.

Over that period, Grassroot reached two and a half million people, supported the organisation of tens of thousands of activities, was used by several of the largest social movements in the country (including in COVID-19 campaigns), and created new methods to bridge the digital divide, using low end technology to deliver high technology abilities.

The guide focuses on the practical and the technical elements of civic tech development — from project and technology selection, developing meaningful social impact metrics, hiring designers and developers to team building — with open and honest reflections on what is useful to know before starting a civic tech project; on what early advice was most valuable; and on what went wrong.

In short, the guide lays out frequently overlooked challenges and provides critical advice. By sharing these lessons, the aim is to bring a constructive, critical and pragmatic lens to support the future of civic tech.