In Omidyar Network’s Positive Returns Medium publication, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst offers insights on “Building a Civic Tech Sector to Last.” The article is a response to Omidyar Network’s “ Engines of Change” report, which provides lessons for the civic tech sector based on learnings from other social movements.
Design principles recommended by Verhulst include encourage experimentation, establish an evidence base and a common set of metrics and:
“Identify the signal. As it stands, the field of civic tech is rife with noise. Without new community-wide mechanisms and services for identifying the signal in that noise, policymakers, technologists and other decision-makers will struggle to make use of the platforms, methodologies and research findings that are currently active in the civic tech field. We need intermediaries that can move from delivering “facts” to exposing and amplifying patterns; and leverage those patterns to move from information to intelligence. By investing in curation (vetting and sharing the stuff one needs to know) and brokering evidence and tools for the field, a movement can be directed to focus on those things that matter and the gaps that exist (as has been done with other field creation).”