The state of Civic Tech and Govtech in France

Tatiana de Feraudy

19 Mar 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Room CC9, Level -1 (Conference Centre)

The Civic Tech ecosystem in France has an impact on public policy both as a market and as a movement that lobbies for open government.

Tatiana discusses the influences and tensions that shape this ecosystem, using local governments as a case study to see how tools are used and perceived by public institutions.

France’s Civic Tech movement started in the early 2010s, and has since been defined by activists, NGOs and not-for-profits — but also public institutions.

Beyond citizen participation professionals, Civic Tech in France is linked to the Open Data movement and the Tech For Good ecosystem, to the public innovation and modernisation sphere, and to the public opinion construction market.

Market actors can be classified according to the main driver of their action (information, mobilisation, or co-production) and their relationship with public institutions (independence or collaboration). The strong dependency of Civic Tech actors towards public support in France influences their impact.

In addition to national crowdlaw experiments, local governments have been pioneers in the uptake of Civic Technology, from citizen reporting apps to participatory budgeting. Today, these tools involve most local government departments, with the exception of finance or employment teams.

While budgets allocated vary widely, more than 40% of local governments have worked with a Civic Tech company to implement their platform. Representatives still believe Civic Tech can support transparency and communication, but when it comes to reaching new groups, increasing the efficiency of public action, or supporting public policy evaluation, their impact is yet to be proven.

This presentation is based on an analysis of media discourse conducted as part of a PhD research, and on the Barometer of Local Digital Democracy produced by Decider ensemble.



The state of Civic Tech and Govtech in France (Tatiana de Feraudy, Décider ensemble, France) from mysociety