“Civic tech” includes a very large number of digital tools that aim to bring citizens closer to the political process by transforming the functioning of democracy through a renewal of their forms of engagement.
These digital tools are most often either backed by public institutions, which may recur to public or private service providers for the deployment of the tool, or by the civil society.
These different tools can for example improve or promote:
- Information dissemination: website, communication on social networks, data visualization tool, news systems, etc.
- Data sharing: open data
- Dialogue between elected officials or public services and citizens: social networks, application to reach elected officials and dialogue with them (e.g. Fluicity).
- Citizen consultation: questionnaire, survey, collection of opinions and preferences (e.g. suggestion box, participatory budget).
- Citizen contribution: “report app” (e.g. Fix my street, Tellmycity), crowdsourcing tool, tool to suggest an idea or a project.
Goals of the study
The Urban Sociology Laboratory of the EPFL, supported by the concertation and communication service of the Canton of Geneva (territorial department), is launching a civic tech barometer in Switzerland in order to:
Identify the practices (technologies and uses) of Swiss cities, towns and cantons and the actors involved in civic techs at the national level in Switzerland.
Produce and share knowledge on these practices on a national scale.
Encourage the sharing of experiences and collaboration between cities, territories and cantons on this theme.
Create the conditions for knowledge and experience sharing in order to eventually be able to create a network of partners and experts at the national level in Switzerland.
The Urban Sociology Laboratory will carry out a questionnaire to be diffused nationally, between April and June 2019. The first results are expected in September 2019.