2016 December 8 18:00
50 min
Amphitheâtre (Iéna)
Civic tech and participatory tools


Ask Questions Here: #1208

Collaborating with Communities and Government: What forms of collaboration are taking root between civic technology communities and governments? What works, what doesn’t?

In this roundtable we will discuss different strategies on how civic tech grassroots initiatives can established fruitful collaborations with local governments. Panelists from Taiwan, South Africa and Germany will share their experiences from their home countries. Current and future challenges will be discussed with the hope that our learnings will make future projects not only easier to start and scale, but also more effective.


In Taiwan, the g0v civic tech community has started a few dozens of projects and collaborated with the government since 2012. The open budget visualization project developed by the community was forked and reused by Taipei City Government for its budget disclosures; vTaiwan, a digital policy deliberation platform built by the community, was proposed by government officials at one of the g0v hackathons, and has helped the government toward making regulations regarding Uber, Airbnb, data privacy, and so on.

In Germany, the local Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF DE) has been working closely with government institutions as well as communities. Together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research OKF DE is setting up a 1.2M € Civic Tech Fund to foster the development of projects around the topics open data, civic tech and data security. In the project school of data, OKF DE is working on data trainings for the public administration and in the project Code for Germany 25 groups all over the country are reusing data and helping local governments to become more open.

In Durban, Open Data Durban (ODD) has spent the last year collaborating with the city government on the formulation of the city’s open data policy and pilot projects to demostrate opening city data and for civic technology in action, such as water management for all government and non-government stakeholders. ODD has partnered with Code for South Africa in implementing OpenByLaws in Durban (eThekwini), and follow-on processes around opening law and legislation. ODD has also conducted data literacy training sessions with municipal staff members and senior managers, as well as “call-a-data-geek” ad hoc assistance for municipal units.

Key questions

  • What forms of collaboration are taking root between civic technology communities and governments? What works, what doesn’t?
    • Stories of success/failure
    • How to handle conflicting incentives and goals between stakeholders
  • What are the difficulties of collaboration among different parties? How to overcome them? What might be compromised in each example?
    • How to handle delays and breakdowns in project processes
    • How to navigate complex and bureaucratic processes to allow projects to have impact and be applicable to users (citizens)
  • How can civic tech take an active role in collaboration?
  • How to measure the impact of collaboration?


The session will be chaired by Julia Kloiber and Chia-liang Kao. We aim for this session to be as interactive as possible. Each of the panelists will give a 7 min. input and discuss one project and a key question/key learning. After the inputs we will open the discussion and take question from the audience. We will ask the audience to share some of their learnings and discuss the key questions together.


  • Chia-liang Kao (g0v)
  • Julia Kloiber (OKF DE)
  • Richard Gevers (Open Data Durban)
  • Paulina Bustos Arellano (Cívica Digital)
  • Audrey Tang (g0v, vTaiwan)

Image Credit

Stefan Baack: The follower network for civic tech communities


by Chia-liang Kao
from / Open Culture Foundation

clkao (Chia-liang Kao) has been an active open source software developer since 2000. He is best known for creating SVK, a distributed version control system based on Subversion. In 2012, He co-founded the initiative, an online community that advocates information transparency, focusing on developing tools for improving citizen participation.


Screen shot 2016 07 21 at 2.06.12 am