How volunteers engage with government

Dawn McDougall
Jill Bjers

20 Mar 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Room D (Chateau)

Volunteers drive a large proportion of Civic Tech activity in the US and around the world. The volunteer-based community organisation efforts of Brigades within the Code for America network have exponentially increased the influence and impact of Civic Tech ideals and reshaped public expectations and government culture.

To evaluate this change, Jill looks at the different methods of engagement employed by thousands of volunteers over the last five years. As both local leaders and member of Code for America's National Advisory Council, Jill Bjers and Dawn McDougall have hands-on experience testing dozens of methods of engagement. In the process of this work, they have talked to over a hundred Civic Tech leaders throughout the Brigade Network.

This session covers what worked and what didn’t with local governments in Charlotte, Philadelphia, and throughout the Code for America network, highlighting the traditional engagement method of building projects in collaboration with local government, before expanding into facilitating community meetings, events, Open Data advisors, a technology advisory and more.

You will leave the session with multiple practical, tested methods of engagement for local government and communities.



How volunteers engage with government: Dawn McDougall (PromptWorks, US) Jill Bjers (Open Charlotte, US) from mysociety