The values that drive our work are universal and there are civic technologists all around the world helping government innovate where they live. We think all of our work is better if we’re connected, so we are growing an international network of like-minded organizations—building a global movement for 21st century government. Our first partners, launching in Summer 2013, are in Mexico City, Germany, and the Caribbean.
You can find more on our blog.
What We Believe
CfA and its international partners operate under the following shared values:
We write code. Though the ultimate goal is sustainable institutional change, it starts with building technology. Teams of fellows function like a small start-up within government, quickly delivering tools that solve real problems.
We show what’s possible. Using lean start-up methods and design thinking, Code for All fellows create interfaces to government that are simple, beautiful, and easy to use, and do this dramatically faster and cheaper than through traditional channels. Showing what’s possible changes the conversation, sets a new bar, and creates political will for innovation in government.
We improve government, not politics. Code for All’s work focuses on opening and innovating the bureaucracy of government: how government delivers services, communicates with citizens, and creates opportunity. We leave the reform of politics to other organizations.
We operate in public. Everything we build is open source. We actively encourage documentation, sharing, and app reuse.
We help build an ecosystem. Whenever possible we reuse existing tools and platforms, encouraging integration and extension.
Code for Mexico City (CodigoDF): Led by Gabriella Gomez-Mont and her team, Code for Mexico City will be run from the city government’s Laboratorio para la Ciudad (LabPLC), a new initiative by Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera. The LabPLC is Mexico City’s office of civic innovation and urban creativity and will, much like the Departments of New Urban Mechanics in Boston and Philadelphia, work across the city’s departments to help develop innovative solutions to the city’s most entrenched problems, as well as to foster a community of innovators within the city government. The first class of CodigoDF fellows will be working with five departments: transport, health, tourism, ecology, and economic development.
CodigoDF is unique in that it only focuses on one city, but with a metropolitan area of 21 million people—larger than most of the world’s countries. The innovations created here have the potential to scale regionally, if not globally, and we’re excited about the prospect of plugging Mexico City’s leaders into our larger network of city officials.
Code for Germany (Code for All DE): Led by Julia Kloiber and Daniel Dietrich, Code for Germany will be a program of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s German chapter. The Open Knowledge Foundation is an open data and open government pioneer, and Julia and Daniel will bring a deep well of expertise on these issues to creating richer engagements with government. They have worked extensively to help governments to open up data and help others to make use of this data. As a think and do tank they run a series of well established programs within the field of civic apps and data, and advise the government on open data policy issues.
Empowering others to engage with the government and building a community of best practices is always at the core of their activities in Germany. Code for Germany will build on the experience of the fellowship program Stadt, Land<Code> launched in 2012, creating a community of civic technologists building civic innovations. Much like Code for America, Code for Germany will operate at the national level and deploy fellows to multiple cities in the country.
Code for the Caribbean (@CodefortheCarib): Led by Matthew McNaughton, Code for the Caribbean is a regional program supporting the island governments of the Caribbean around shared goals for economic development through technology and innovation. Matthew is the founder of the SlashRoots Foundation, a Caribbean civic technology non-profit and developer community that organizes an annual open data conference and code sprint called Developing the Caribbean in collaboration with the Caribbean Open Institute and a number of regional partners. This year, Developing the Caribbean had simultaneous events in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Suriname, Guyana, and the Dominican Republic.
Code for the Caribbean will begin with a pilot program in Jamaica, in collaboration with the Rural Area Development Authority (RADA), an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, to address the problem of praedial larceny (the theft of livestock and crops from the field). The pilot is being led by the Mona School of Business & Management, SlashRoots, and the Caribbean Open Institute. The mission of the latter is to promote open data as a means toward greater economic development in the region. More on the pilot can be found here and here. To achieve this end, Code of the Caribbean is launching a Fellowship Program, where four chosen fellows will be embedded within RADA for a six-month period and—in addition to assessing additional needs of the organization—will create at least one application designed to combat praedial larceny. CftC intends to expand to other islands in future cycles.
As we engage in these international partnerships, we benefit from the advice of a group of world-class civic technologists:
Stacy Donohue, Director of Investments, Omidyar Network
David Eaves, Public Policy and Open Government Entrepreneur
Felipe Heusser, Director, Ciudadano Inteligente
Ginny Hunt, Principal, Strategy and Civic Innovation, Google
Andrew McLaughlin, SVP, betaworks and CEO, Digg
Ory Okolloh, Director of Investments, Omidyar Network
Tom Steinberg, Founder and Executive Director, MySociety
Chris Vein, Chief Innovation Officer, World Bank
Ethan Zuckerman, Director, Center for Civic Media, MIT
Have questions or want to get involved? Contact international [@] codeforamerica.org or fill out the interest form.