2019 Schedule

Tuesday 19th March

  • Conference registration & refreshments

  • Welcome to TICTeC 2019

    • Mark Cridge (mySociety, UK)
  • Welcome from the OECD

    • Anthony Gooch (OECD, France)

    The OECD is kindly hosting TICTeC 2019 at their conference centre. A few words from their Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Anthony Gooch, on why hosting TICTeC is so important.

  • The Third Age of Civic Tech

    • Dr. Rebecca Rumbul (mySociety, UK)
  • Fostering democractic societies to fight platform populists: the Brazilian experience

    • Alessandra Orofino (Nossas, Brazil)

    Recent years have seen the rise of platform populists gaining control of governments across the world.

    They campaign on an authoritarian agenda and with little care for democratic values, yet ironically, these tyrants are elected by citizens through democratic processes.

    Alessandra suggests that the best way to fight this tendency is to focus on fostering democratic societies rather than simply democratic institutions. In Brazil, the grassroots organisation that she founded, NOSSAS, has a strong background in cultivating citizen-led activism and direct engagement in political decision-making processes, while also supporting the growth of solidarity networks.

    NOSSAS gives people the tools to create resilient structures that can guarantee access to basic services to the most vulnerable people in society, even when they are having their rights threatened and services are being dismantled by the state itself.

  • Refreshment break

    Please note that the Chateau rooms are a five minute walk away from Room CC9. Sessions will begin promptly so please allow enough time to move between locations.

  • Evaluating the impacts of voter information campaigns

    • David Alzate (J-Pal Global, US)
    • Eliza Keller (J-PAL Global, US)
    • Jonathan Weigel (London School of Economics)
    • Yusuf Neggers (University of Michigan)

    As the line between fact and fiction in politics becomes increasingly blurred, the need for effective strategies to convey facts to voters and hold elected leaders accountable is more pressing than ever before.

    Researchers and J-PAL staff will present case studies of information campaigns and evaluation approaches, as well as insights from multiple randomised evaluations testing similar approaches.

    Can parliaments harness collective intelligence?

    • Aleksandra Berditchevskaia (Nesta, UK)
    • Theo Bass (Nesta, UK)

    The past decade has seen a proliferation in Civic Tech for crowdsourcing, including a vast array of ideation and online deliberation tools.

    But amid a flourishing tech landscape, we’ve seen far fewer high-level national institutions that are willing to use or integrate such tools into formal political processes.

    Based on Nesta’s current research within the UK Parliament, and through a number of structured exercises, attendees of this workshop have the chance to examine what is necessary to bring crowdsourcing into parliamentary decision-making, and increase the opportunities for civic engagement.

    Urban outfitting: Civic Tech for the city context

    Developing an urban barometer

    • Antonio Cañamas (OECD, France)
    • Fabrice Murtin (OECD Statistics Directorate, France)

    The OECD presents work on the development of an urban barometer across several suburbs of Paris.

    This project engaged with citizens to provide evidence on subjective aspects of wellbeing that can guide policy makers to best address their needs. It aims to help fill the current data gap by collecting data on subjective well-being and service satisfaction at a very granular level.

    The Open Government Partnership Multi-Donor Trust Fund: Research on the Impact of Open Government and Participatory Democracy

    • Claire Davanne (World Bank, US)
    • Stephen Davenport (World Bank Group, US)

    As the open government agenda gains steam, relatively little systematic research has been done to examine the ways different types and sequences of reforms have played out in various contexts, and with what impact.

    To address these knowledge gaps, and to sharpen our ways of thinking about the difference that open government processes can make, the OGP and several Development Partners (DFID, AFD, GAC) have established a funding mechanism, the OGP MDTF, to expand research activities in the areas of Open Government, public participation, and Civic Tech.

  • Lunch

    If you have any special dietary requirements, please ask the waiters/waitresses for your meal.

  • Group photo

    We will try and get a group photo outside the Chateau on the lawn - join us to say cheese!

  • Welcome from Google Civics

    • Claire Foulquier-Gazagnes (Google)

    Civic Tech activist and Open Data advocate for the French government turned Partnership Manager for Civics at Google, Claire Foulquier-Gazagnes will share words of welcome to TICTeC participants, on behalf of Google Civics. She will introduce the Civic Googlers present of the conference and will kick off conversations on how to have positive social impact at scale. Google has been supporting TICTeC since its inception and partners with government and civil society civic organizations in areas related to its civic products and features.

  • Walk to breakout rooms

    Please note that the Chateau rooms are a five minute walk away from Room CC9. Sessions will begin promptly so please allow enough time to move between locations.

  • Funding, scaling and sustainable growth

    Funding impactful Civic Tech in Latin America

    • Lucia Abelenda Casalet (Fundación Avina, Mexico)

    ALTEC is one of the most significant funders of Civic Tech in Latin America, supporting several prominent projects in the region.

    The foundation has been working with researchers to understand the evolution and impact of Civic Tech projects, to derive useful lessons and make recommendations for similar initiatives.

    Scaling Civic Tech impact through the Open Government Partnership

    • Helen Turek (Open Government Partnership, Germany)

    Scaling is one of the key challenges facing Civic Tech initiatives. In the seven years since its founding, members of the Open Government Partnership have accrued a wealth of experience from literally thousands of projects and reforms. Helen presents key learnings from OGP’s experience in replicating and scaling projects across borders.

    What holds government back from helping Civic Tech projects scale?

    • Breandán Knowlton (Government Digital Service, UK)

    Many Civic Tech and government initiatives struggle to achieve self-sustainability when moving from pilot to full-scale deployment.

    The UK government’s GovTech Catalyst innovation fund has been experimenting with new ways to support innovative local technology-enabled projects — and some interesting barriers to scaling have emerged.

    Challenges and opportunities for women in Civic Tech

    This session focuses on the experiences of those who identify as women; however, all TICTeC delegates are welcome to come and listen, learn and participate thoughtfully. Women are encouraged to share their own experience and insights on the challenges and opportunities in Civic Tech, within small discussion groups and with anonymity assured. The session will result in a manifesto that draws on your own experiences, adding to the body of research already conducted to help build the Open Heroines Guide.

    Social, political and public engagement

    Learning from setbacks: Civocracy and citizen consultations

    • Benjamin Snow (Civocracy, Germany)

    Civocracy is a Civic Tech platform that enables local governments to run more effective and efficient citizen consultations. However, at launch, the anticipated impact was found to be disappointingly lacking.

    Benjamin discusses the ways in which Civocracy adapted their technology and business model in response to this setback.The results have been transformative.

    Being unsocial on social media: the implications for civic and political engagement

    • Marko Skoric (City University of Hong Kong, China)

    Although early research supported an optimistic view that social media can reinvigorate our social, civic and political lives, we are now less optimistic about their impact — the discussion of echo chambers and political polarisation seems to dominate our daily discourse.

    Why did social media platforms suddenly become the villains in the story of technology and democracy, and what has the social impact been?

    Engaging citizens on well-being: what does it take?

    • Holly Richards (OECD, France)
    • Nuria Villanova (OECD)
    • Vincent Finat-Duclos (OECD)
    • Virginie Carvalhosa Martins (OECD)

    For years, the OECD has been examining and promoting wellbeing as a cornerstone of policy-making, to get us beyond the use of GDP as a sole measure.

    Throughout this process, they’ve aimed to be inclusive and shed light on the fact that wellbeing is both personal and collective. They developed the Better Life Index, an online tool to engage with citizens and learn what matters most for their quality of life in an effort to complement official statistics.

    This workshop explores ways to connect the public, policy and politics to deliver on this mission.

  • Refreshment break

  • Civic Tech: the French context

    Participatory budgeting in Paris

    • Pauline Véron (Deputy Mayor of Paris)

    Paris has embraced the concept of participatory budgeting. For five years now, its citizens have voted on how to spend a proportion of the city’s funds.

    But the decision-making is arguably the simple part: next, it’s down to the council to make those choices a reality. Pauline describes what it takes, and explains how the public are kept informed on progress.

    Digital democracy as a response to the gilets jaunes

    • Paula Forteza MP (En Marche! National Assembly of France member, France)

    The state of Civic Tech and Govtech in France

    • Tatiana de Feraudy (Décider ensemble, France)

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

    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 their impact is yet to be proven.

    Together we stand: collaborating against division

    • Julia Brothers (National Democratic Institute (NDI), US)
    • Victoria Welborn (National Democratic Institute, US)

    Political polarisation is on the rapid rise, and at a rate that can be correlated with the increasing use of technology.

    This workshop aims to explore Civic Tech’s role in combating this issue. How can practitioners and activists in our field collaborate with other social movements to create projects that combat issues arising from political polarisation?

    What have we created? Reflection and reports

    The quest for an internet that serves us

    • Kasia Odrozek (Mozilla Foundation, Germany)
    • Stefan Baack (Mozilla Foundation, Germany)

    What does it mean for the internet to be healthy? And how do we measure progress and setbacks?

    Kasia and Stefan share findings from Mozilla’s 2018 Internet Health Report, with a teaser for the upcoming 2019 edition and a discussion about how we might use the concept of 'internet health' to catalyse change in our communities.

    The State of Open Data: research findings

    • Mor Rubinstein (360Giving, UK)
    • Tim Davies (Practical Participation, UK)

    Research report The State of Open Data seeks to review the development of the Open Data movement over the past decade.

    Mor and Tim present the key findings from the upcoming research (due to be published in May 2019) and in particular, how they can be useful for the Civic Tech community.

    The Civic Tech timeline: a recent history

    • Matthew Stempeck (Civic Hall, US)
    • Micah L. Sifry (Civic Hall, US)

    The Civic Tech Field Guide is an open collection of over 2,000 Civic Tech entities, from apps to conferences to funders.

    The project has collected and mapped the founding date and, where possible/applicable, the end date of hundreds of Civic Tech initiatives. The result is a comprehensive timeline demonstrating over a decade of growth in Civic Technology.

    Tracking the truth: automated monitoring methods

    Identifying checkable claims with machine learning

    • Mevan Babakar (Full Fact, UK)

    The first step in automated fact-checking is to identify which sentences in a piece of text contain verifiable claims. Mevan builds on the history of Full Fact’s work in automated fact-checking to discuss the finer details of the methodology for extracting such sentences from the surrounding prose and the annotation scheme they’ve developed.

    The impact and ethics of Twitter Wikiedit bots

    • Amanda Clarke (Carleton University, Canada)

    Twitter Wikiedit bots report changes to Wikipedia that have been made from within a specified institution: commonly, governments. An immediate conclusion, often gleefully leapt upon by the press, is that such edits must be partisan and politicised. Amanda’s research digs more deeply into the value and impact of such edits and the bots who report them.

    Not all promises are equal: towards better promise trackers

    • Adam Feldman (University of Warwick, UK)
    • Jordan Urban (GovTracker, UK)

    Promise trackers, typically online tools which measure politicians’ actions against the pledges they make during campaigns, tend to treat all commitments as of equal importance.

    Jordan and Adam present research, inspired by their running of govtracker.co.uk, which demonstrates how weighting promises means promise trackers can become better tools for holding our governments accountable.

  • End of Conference Day 1

  • Coaches from OECD to French National Assembly

    Transportation will be provided to those who sign up to attend the drinks reception at the French National Assembly.

  • Drinks reception (optional - sign up required)

    A chance to chat over drinks and canapés. Thanks to support from Paula Forteza, member of the French Parliament, this will take place at the French National Assembly/Parliament buildings between 18.30 and 21.00 on Tuesday 19th March 2019.

    Attendance is on a first come first served basis and is restricted to TICTeC attendees only. If you'd like to attend you must sign up by filling out this form by midnight GMT on 11th March 2019

    If you do not sign up here you will not be permitted entry to the National Assembly.

    Transportation from the OECD conference venue to the National Assembly will be provided to those who sign up to attend.

  • End of Day 1

Wednesday 20th March

  • Arrival & refreshments

  • Getting the people engaged: what Civic Tech can and can't do

    Participatory budgeting: the opportunities and limitations of what Civic Tech can do

    • Panthea Lee (Reboot, US)

    Participatory budgeting — where residents decide the priorities for local governmental spending — has taken off around the world as the epitome of citizen engagement.

    Panthea presents findings from Reboot’s research in Madagascar, Spain, Mexico, and South Korea, examining to what extent technology has aided participatory budgeting.

    Same process, different outcomes: mapping participatory budgeting in France

    • Gil Pradeau (University of Westminster, France)

    In Brazil, birthplace of participatory budgeting, the initiative led to a wide social discussion of local assets and the sources of income.

    In France, the picture is very different. Gil analyses three waves of participatory budgeting with comparisons and case studies.

    Decidim and the Municipal Action Plan in Barcelona: co-producing and auditing public policy through a political network

    • Pablo Aragón (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain)
    • Virgile Deville (Open Source Politics, Code for France, Democracy Earth)

    Decidim is free/open source software for participatory democracy, sponsored and used by Barcelona city council as well as other cities and social organisations. Pablo and Virgile will present some key data showing its role in the co-production and public auditing of the Municipal Action Plan in Barcelona, as well as discuss its potential and limitations.

    Using tech and data science to make sense of election results

    • BBC News

    Public scrutiny and understanding of election results is crucial in a transparent democracy. Maryam Ahmed, a Data Scientist at BBC News, gives a hands-on demonstration on adding context to election results using data science. Share her experiences of the excitement of election night analysis in the newsroom, and learn of the pitfalls when producing analyses for a mass audience.

    Unique perspectives from the Civic Tech coalface

    The legal story of g0v

    • Isabel Hou (g0v.tw / Open Culture Foundation, Taiwan)

    Isabel describes herself as “built-in” legal counsel to the Taiwanese Civic Tech organisation g0v — she’s been with them since its very beginning.

    Right from the start, g0v has encountered many legal challenges. But it’s not just a one-way street: at the same time, Civic Tech and its associated community have fed back into the legal system, affecting the evolution of laws.

    When Civic Tech matures: the issues that arise in long-running projects

    • Matthew Somerville (mySociety, UK)

    Running Civic Tech websites over a long period of time brings some unique challenges, not all of which are foreseeable.

    Matthew shares some of the history behind UK sites such as WriteToThem (first iteration launched in 2000), TheyWorkForYou (launched in 2004), and FixMyStreet (2007), all of which are still running today, plus some that are not. What problems arise, and how best to tackle them?

    The impacts of OpenSCHUFA on credit scoring transparency in Germany

    • Walter Palmetshofer (Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V., Germany)

    In early 2018, the project OpenSCHUFA took data donated by the public and reverse engineered the algorithms of Germany’s credit rating system.

    It was the most successful data crowdsourcing campaign the country had ever seen. Learn of the core elements and impact of this successful Civic Tech campaign, and what they’re planning next.

  • Fighting corruption with people, tech and data

    The Civic Tech Ecosystem in Nigeria

    • Friday Odeh (Accountability Lab Nigeria)

    Accountability Lab has carried out a careful landscape mapping of the organisations in the accountability and civic tech space in Nigeria to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and areas for possible collaboration and synergy. Friday will present their findings.

    Is that grant working? Citizen monitoring in Nepal

    • Jasmina Haynes (Integrity Action, UK)

    How do we check that well-meaning grants are doing everything they were intended to?

    Sindhupalcheck was an intervention that engaged citizens to monitor a house reconstruction programme in Sindupalchowk, Nepal. Through a mobile app, volunteers highlighted problems that were hindering the reconstruction effort — problems that otherwise would have been unknown.

    Data science vs corruption

    • Mohamed James (Directorate of Science Technology and Innovation, Government of Sierra Leone)

    During a recent government transition in Sierra Leone, incoming officials had trouble accounting for all government vehicles.

    A group of data scientists took data from two different authorities — one that tracks registrations, another than records governmental property. They found that the government was short by close to US$ 1 million in lost income — and suggested a remedy.

    [Design Sprint Workshop] Engagement Metrics for Social Impact

    • Alisa Zomer (MIT GOV/LAB, US)
    • Erhardt Graeff (Olin College of Engineering, US)
    • Luke Jordan (Grassroot / MIT GOV/LAB)
    • Marci Harris (POPVOX, US)

    How can Civic Tech organisations broaden their metrics for measuring social impact?

    This workshop explores how to develop better metrics that can serve organisational missions, through a design sprint with two pioneering technology platforms for civic engagement.

    Each organisation will share a specific challenge they are facing. First examining a framework on how product design can be linked to social impact, we’ll then design a set of solutions that can be applied to the examples in hand, and more widely to other Civic Tech projects.

    The Impact of Civic Technology in Latin America

    • Alessandra Orofino (Nossas, Brazil)
    • Fabro Steibel (Institute for Technology & Society (ITS), Brazil)
    • Lucia Abelenda Casalet (Fundación Avina, Mexico)
    • Stacy Donohue (Luminate)

    The panel share their thoughts and experiences about the path to impact for Civic Technology, followed by an open session.

    Using examples from Latin America as a jumping off point, we then move on to a general discussion, aiming to arrive at applicable insights and actions for Civic Technology practitioners around the world.

  • Refreshment break

  • Keynote 2: James Anderson, Bloomberg Philanthropies

    • James Anderson (Bloomberg Philanthropies, US)

    James Anderson leads the Government Innovation programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. The programs help city leaders solve their most vexing challenges through innovation, data and evidence, and collaboration. More than 250 cities worldwide are currently supported through grants, technical expertise, and educational and networking programs.

  • Lunch

    If you have any special dietary requirements, please ask the waiters/waitresses for your meal.

  • Preventing Abuse on Facebook During the 2018 US Midterm Elections

    • Antonia Woodford (Facebook)
    • Monica Lee (Facebook)
    • Samidh Chakrabarti (Facebook, US)

    Last year, Facebook mobilised a massive cross-company effort to protect its platforms from abuse during the 2018 US midterm elections. In this talk, Facebook will provide a behind-the-scenes look at their efforts, which included developing new graph modeling techniques to identify coordinated attempts at manipulation, new systems to combat voter suppression in real-time, and new transparency requirements to bring more authenticity to political speech. They will also outline some of the tough challenges and open research questions that remain as they take on increasingly sophisticated adversaries and try to scale these civic integrity measures to elections around the world.

  • Walk to breakout rooms

    Please note that the Chateau rooms are a five minute walk away from Room CC9. Sessions will begin promptly so please allow enough time to move between locations.

  • Enquiring into the empowerment of communities

    Impacts of discussion platforms for young people

    • Miep Lenoir (RNW Media, Netherlands)

    Citizens’ Voice provides online communities for two million young people across Yemen, Libya, Egypt, DRC, Burundi, Mali and China, who can engage with each other and sharing diverse viewpoints in an alternative, online safe civic space.

    Miep presents results from a recent survey that provided a wealth of insights into how the platform impacts their users’ opinions and perspectives.

    Questioning impact: what if you find it lacking?

    • Luke Jordan (Grassroot / MIT GOV/LAB)

    Luke describes how a seemingly successful initiative was forced to question its theory of change.

    Grassroot, in South Africa, provides tools that enable community organising and collective action via phones with limited data.

    Despite measurable successes, the organisation has found that impacts are more questionable than previously believed. Luke reflects on potential future directions for Grassroot, and for the sector as a whole.

    Empowerment of women through Civic Tech in Kosovo

    • Natalia Domagala (London School of Economics and Political Science / DCMS, UK)

    Improving the lives of women through ICT is a prominent feature of the global policy and Civic Tech agenda, particularly in countries with low female labour and political participation such as Kosovo.

    This research looks at grassroots programmes which teach young women advanced ICT skills and the use of Open Data, exploring to what extent such programmes contribute to the empowerment of women.

    Concrete tools to improve actionable impact evaluation practices

    • David Alzate (J-Pal Global, US)
    • Eliza Keller (J-PAL Global, US)

    This workshop provides participants with concrete tools to improve actionable impact evaluation practices at their organisation, tailored to Civic Technology interventions.

    J-PAL staff explain the pros and cons of different methods of impact evaluation, from randomised evaluation to lab-in-the-field and quasi-experimental methods, then lead small group exercises to enable participants to begin planning their own evaluation.

    Inclusive Governance: Bringing all voices on board for the design and delivery of policies and public services

    • Alessandro Bellantoni (OECD)
    • Amanda Clarke (Carleton University, Canada)
    • Barbara Ubaldi (OECD, France)
    • Claudia Chwalisz (OECD, France)
    • Miriam Levin (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, UK)
    • Mor Rubinstein (360Giving, UK)

    This session will explore two aspects of inclusive governance: inclusive policy making and inclusive service design and delivery. How to involve everyday people from all walks of life in policy making, in such a way that allows them to give constructive, informed input into public decisions? And how to enhance the reach and impact of digital public services to support inclusion in terms of design and delivery?

  • Refreshment break

  • Investing in the Future of Civic Tech

    • Lucia Abelenda Casalet (Fundación Avina, Mexico)
    • Micah L. Sifry (Civic Hall, US)
    • Paul Lenz (Indigo Trust, UK)
    • Stacy Donohue (Luminate)

    This panel discussion focuses on the changing nature of impact in relation to Civic Tech; how funders see and fund Civic Tech; what innovations funders would like to see coming out of the Civic Tech field in future; and what's needed in terms of impact measurement by funders and investors in order to support the field.

    Civic Tech Impact: What doesn't work?

    • Eric Reese (Center for Government Excellence at John Hopkins University, US)

    At every TICTeC we celebrate successes in the Civic Tech field. This workshop provides space to explore the other side of Civic Tech success: barriers to long-term impact.

    Through interactive group work reflecting key themes from TICTeC 2019, this session focuses on participants’ ideas of what is holding us back from having more impact, potential solutions to help expand impact, and how practitioners and researchers can start to implement potential solutions.

    Civic Tech and government

    When Civic Tech collaborates with government: what works?

    • Krzysztof Izdebski (ePaństwo Foundation, Poland)

    A core mission of Civic Technologists is to support governments in delivering better services to citizens. Krzysztof presents the experience of ePaństwo Foundation in both researching and developing models of collaboration between Civic Tech groups and their governmental counterparts across and beyond Central and Eastern Europe.

    How volunteers engage with government

    • Dawn McDougall (PromptWorks, US)
    • Jill Bjers (Open Charlotte, US)

    Volunteers drive much of the Civic Tech activity 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.

    To evaluate this change, Jill and Dawn look at the different methods of engagement employed by thousands of volunteers over the last five years.

    Seeing like a state: lessons from building an Open Data support team

    • Benjamin Seibel (Technologiestiftung Berlin, Germany)

    In May 2018 Technologiestiftung Berlin won a government grant to launch ODIS, offering support to Berlin’s authorities in releasing quality datasets to the public.

    They started with the hypothesis that the main obstacle for progress in Open Data was a lack of digital expertise in government. This turned out to be wrong, just the first in a series of changing preconceptions.

  • End of Conference

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