TICTeC Show and Tells 2021

Online, March—May 2021

Join us for a series of short, energetic and to-the-point TICTeC Show & Tells.

During these hour-long virtual events speakers from across the world will share their real and in-depth research and lessons learnt related to the impacts of civic technology. TICTeC is a safe place to honestly examine what works, what doesn’t, what can be improved, what to be aware of etc, so ultimately, better digital tools are developed.

Please see the schedule and registration details for each Show & Tell below - you can read longer descriptions of the presentations, and read more about the speakers, by clicking on the blue links. Each Show & Tell will provide ample opportunity for attendees to ask questions, so do come along armed with things you want to ask.

Show and tell 1 Scrutiny, oversight & the data that makes it possible

Tuesday 23rd March, 15:00 – 16:00 GMT

Click on the individual presentation pages below to watch the individual presentation recordings, view presentation slides and read speakers’ responses to audience questions.

How to monitor emergency procurement with open data: lessons from 12 countries

  • Camila Salazar (Open Contracting Partnership)

Unprecedented times call for quick decisions, and the pandemic has seen governments around the world implementing emergency procurement measures.

Open Contracting Partnership examined data from 12 countries to understand how these powers are being used — and how to make procurement more efficient and fairer for all.

Civic tech for smartphone beginners: is the future binary?

  • Arran Leonard (Integrity Action)

Effective civic tech tools need frequent iterations, based on feedback from the people who use them. Integrity Action's DevelopmentCheck tool went through this learning curve and came to understand the immense but perhaps surprising value of the simple yes/no question.

Arran shares real-life examples of the problems the tool is attempting to solve, and how best to shape questions that result in actionable findings.

Find that Charity: a tool to help find charities and improve charity data

  • David Kane (360Giving)

360Giving helps funders publish open data about their grants by publishing it in the 360Giving Data Standard. Their vision is for grantmaking in the UK to be more informed, effective and strategic. 'Find that Charity', developed by David Kane and supported by 360Giving, is a tool for finding data about non-profit organisations.

David will take us through some of the challenges in developing such a tool when the data has been published inconsistently, as well as the benefits of the tool for funders and recipients.

Civic tech vs. illicit pharmacies

  • Ibraheem Saleem (Code for Pakistan)

Digitisation creates efficiencies, and this has been clearly demonstrated in the third-largest province of Pakistan with a programme to tackle an unregulated and unaccountable pharmaceutical sector.

Prior to this intervention, unlicensed drugstores run by illegal merchants selling substandard drugs were commonplace. Code for Pakistan's latest collaboration, digitising a previously manual system, has seen tangible results by upping the speed and efficiency of licence issuing, and the detection of fake licences, saving government hours and bringing transparency and accountability to the sector.

Keeping track of open data in times of political change

  • David Zamora (Open Data Barometer LAC)
  • Silvana Fumega (ILDA)

Latin America and the Caribbean have been at the forefront of adoption, innovation and use of open data, and over time a network of practitioners and universities, able to provide advice to policy makers and contribute to sustainable growth, has emerged. But with changes in government and shifts in the political landscape, inevitably, change has come.

New and refreshed data is urgently needed if we are to understand and assess the current situation. The Open Data Barometer hopes to provide a crucial part of the puzzle for this vital analysis.

How AfricanLII saves its users $100million a year

  • Amy Sinclair (AfricanLII)
  • Paul Lenz (Indigo Trust, UK)

Paul and Amy will share research findings that demonstrate how the African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII), through the free, online, provision of legal information have achieved significant, positive, social, legal, and financial impacts for their users.

Show and tell 2 Hearing every voice: lessons learned from online deliberation projects

Tuesday 20th April, 15:00 – 16:00 BST

Click on the individual presentation pages below to watch the individual presentation recordings, view presentation slides and read speakers’ responses to audience questions.

Our COVID consultation journey: from a small initiative to the desk of the president

  • Chloé Pahud (Civocracy)

Will the pandemic be a turning point, or will we go back to normal once the lockdown is over? This was the most pressing question for a variety of civic tech organisations in France.

Chloé describes how, by forming an alliance, these disparate groups were able to conduct a national consultation that examined what people wanted the future to look like — and, crucially, what they are prepared to give up in order to get it. The results were so significant that they ended up informing the President's COVID response.

Understanding the small hurdles that block community engagement, with behavioural design

  • Abigail Sellman (ideas42)
  • Adrian Kearns (OpenUp)

People are often prevented from taking an active part in policy-making processes, not by anything enormous or unsurmountable but by small mundane blockers such as arranging transport or the need to fill in a complex web form.

Abigail and Adrian explain how behavioural design methodology enabled ideas42 to get to the root of these issues for one Cape Town organisation, and provide them with simple means by which to overcome them. The low cost and impactful solutions can inform us all.

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

  • Luke Jordan (Grassroot / MIT GOV/LAB)

Don't build it — that's the first piece of advice for anyone embarking on a new piece of civic tech. But if you must build it, at least take in the lessons learned from Grassroot, a technology platform from South Africa.

In a new guide, Grassroot explains the frequently overlooked challenges of building a new piece of civic tech, and provides critical advice. By sharing these lessons, the aim is to bring a constructive, critical and pragmatic lens to support the future of our sector.

It takes two: when citizens and Congress Members deliberate online

  • Samantha McDonald (University of California, Irvine)

In the US, each Member of the House of Representatives must try to survey, interpret and act upon the views of, on average, 700,000 constituents. Understandably, this can be a difficult task, often skewed by who has the stronger lobbyists or advocacy campaigners.

Could an online deliberation platform improve things? From the constituents' point of view, apparently yes — there was high engagement and eagerness to discuss the topic at hand. But, then there is the complication of Congress. Samantha talks us through the barriers to important changes to constituent engagement and what we need to do to surpass them.

Leave no-one behind: overcoming hurdles to online citizen assemblies

  • Craig Morbey (FutureGov)
  • Scott Butterfield (Blackpool Council)

As with so many planned events, COVID meant that a neighbourhood climate assembly for Blackpool in the UK had to be conducted online. But there was an issue: with the participants coming from within the top 10% of the most deprived population in England, digital literacy and lack of access to equipment would provide significant hurdles to participation.

FutureGov were able to overcome these barriers, and the remedies they put in place resulted in 100% attendance and retention. It had some unexpected but heartwarming consequences, too.

Engaging for the Future: what do the public want from engagement, and how can digital deliver?

  • Mike Saunders (Commonplace)

What are the barriers preventing people from engaging in planning? How do people want to participate? What does good and effective engagement look like?

Mike will present the findings of Commonplace's nationwide public opinion polling, qualitative research and data collected across over 1,000 planning engagements on the Commonplace platform. It will include best practices for community involvement and principles that help achieve meaningful, ongoing engagement with local people.

Show and tell 3 Empowering communities using geospatial technology

Tuesday 25th May, 15:00 – 16:00 BST

#PlanTech and the geospatial ecosystem

  • Ben Fowkes (Delib)

The climate crisis and the pandemic have shown that we have to modernise the places we live and work, and the means by which we get between them, if we’re to be ready for the future. Every local policy decision now has a spatial consideration, from how we reduce our transport systems’ impact on the environment to how our cities adapt to more people working from home.

Delib's new PlanTech product, Citizen Space Geospatial, incorporates interactive mapping and geospatial data throughout the digital engagement process, with broad-reaching implications for the field of public participation.

What are the effects of OpenStreetMapping on the mappers themselves?

  • Aishworya Shrestha (Kathmandu Living Labs)

We all understand the benefits of OpenStreetMap to society as a whole — but new research indicates that the very experience of contributing to the crowdsourced geospatial database has quantifiable long term beneficial effects, increasing the skills, wellbeing and self-belief of those who volunteer.

Aishworya talks through an extended study which examined the skill-based and emotional effects on a cohort of interns who contributed to maps in Nepal.

Open data for local self governance: learnings from five Ukrainian cities

  • Nadiia Babynska (OpenUp Ukraine)

Nadiia, who project managed the GIS for Integrity cities project, discusses how to improve data and assets governance at the local level, how digitalisation can allow access to public information and the development and launch of (geo)information systems.

Using examples from five Ukrainian cities she discusses implementation, problems and barriers. Open data, open source and open by default/by design principles are at the core of these projects.

Digital Champions: community led development monitoring in Tanzania

  • Janet Chapman (Tanzania Development Trust/Crowd2Map)

In another vivid demonstration of the power and versatility of OpenStreetMap, Janet presents Crowd2Map's activities in Tanzania, which include countering female genital mutilation and gender-based violence, plotting access to water and health facilities and surveying villagers' SDG priorities.

This volunteer project trained first time smartphone users in all 87 villages of Serengeti District to become digital champions, with positive results.

Disfactory: mapping and reporting illegal factories in Taiwan

  • Yun Chen (g0v.tw community, Taiwan)

Taiwan is home to an estimated 55,000 illegal factories, situated on farmland across the country. Thanks to the Disfactory platform, a crowdsourced project born from a hackathon, anyone can now report a factory they suspect of operating illegally.

The project has changed government policy, opened up data and brought about the investigation — and even demolition — of more than 150 factories. Here is a real example of where civic tech has brought positive change to society.

Visualising the future: how 3D imaging helps residents understand proposed changes

  • Peter Kemp (Planning at the Greater London Authority)

London needs housing: that is clear. But when construction is planned in a local neighbourhood, it's understandable that existing residents might not fully comprehend the changes that are proposed — and evidence suggests that 45% of the UK's population are unable to read a plan.

What if game engine technology could be repurposed to give people a realistic image of how their neighbourhood would look, should plans be passed? With everyone better informed, any objections would be based on facts rather than assumptions. When 3D Repo brought this idea to the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge, it won the award.

Sponsorship opportunities

mySociety is a charity and relies on sponsorship to continue with TICTeC events and initiatives. If you’re interested in sponsoring this series of TICTeC Show and Tells please see our sponsorship options. To discuss these and other more bespoke sponsorship opportunities please contact Gemma Moulder at gemma@mysociety.org.

“TICTeC has been a great way for me personally as a relatively new person in the field to get exposure to new ideas, connect with incredibly helpful people, and to generally learn about new trends from around the world.”

“TICTeC worked well as a virtual event because you felt like everyone involved was 'in the room' and participating. It was the closest I've come to having an online event 'feel' like a real life event.”