Civic tech barometer 2019

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Context

The term “Civic tech” is subject to multiple definitions and interpretations. Generally, it refers to a vast number of digital tools that aim to bring citizens closer to the political process by transforming the workings of democracy through a renewal of their forms of engagement.

These different tools can, for example, improve or promote:

  • Information dissemination: for projects, political decisions, etc.
  • Dialogue between elected officials or public services and citizens: social networks, application to reach elected officials and dialogue with them.
  • Citizen consultation: questionnaires, surveys, gathering of opinions and preferences.
  • Citizen contribution: “reporting apps”, crowdsourcing tools, ideas and projects proposal tool.
  • Data sharing: open data.

These digital tools are most often either backed by public institutions, which may call on public or private service providers for the deployment of the tool, or by the civil society.

A Swiss Barometer of Civic Tech

This questionnaire is the first edition of the Swiss Barometer of Civic Tech, launched by the Urban Sociology Laboratory (LaSUR) of EPFL.

It is intended for actors from Swiss public authorities who have set up or wish to set up civic tech tools.

Its main objectives are to:

  • Identify and map the practices (technologies and uses) of swiss cities, communes and cantons, and the actors involved in civic techs at national level.
  • Produce and share knowledge on these practices at a national and international scale.
  • Encourage the sharing of experiences and the collaboration between cities, territories and cantons on this topic.
  • Create, in time, a network of partners and experts in Switzerland based on the sharing of knowledge and experience.

About the questionnaire

The questionnaire is comprised of two main sections:

– A general section in 3 parts on civic tech within your organization

  1. Identity card of the public authority.
  2. Citizen participation in your community.
  3. Citizen participation and digital technology in your community.

– A “tool sheet” section to describe in more detail the characteristics of the tool(s) you have implemented. You can fill in 1 complete tool sheet and up to 3 other synthetic tool sheets. A tool sheet is divided into 4 parts:

  1. Tool identity form
  2. Tool resources
  3. Contribution conditions
  4. Evaluation

Approximately 20 minutes are needed to complete the general part of the questionnaire and a tool sheet, and an additional 10 minutes for any other tool sheet.

The form does not need to be completed all at once and can be accessed repeatedly, provided you do not delete the navigation cookies. The form will remain as you left it when you log in again, but the results already entered will no longer be editable.

Results

The results of the barometer will be published in the fall of 2019 on the LaSUR website.

Events will be organised at EPFL and at the 3DD consultation space in Geneva during the same period to present the study.

The data collected will be published as open data (after anonymisation and with the exception of personal data).

Acknowledgements

This project is supported by the communication and consultation service of the canton of Geneva (territorial department) as part of the partnership between EPFL and the Canton of Geneva.

This questionnaire is based on and includes elements of the barometer of digital local democracy conducted since 2016 by the French think tank Décider Ensemble.

Contact / Question

You can contact us at Jean-François Lucas and Armelle Hausser