Presentation Title

Citizen Engagement, Collaborative Governance and the Civic Hacking Group Social Movement in the United States

Advisor Information

Yu-Che Chen

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

6-3-2015 1:45 PM

End Date

6-3-2015 2:00 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to increase our understanding of civic hacking within the US. Civic hacking consists of selforganized groups of citizens voluntarily creating new digital interfaces for government data or service information. Examples include clearstreets.org and answers.oaklandnet.com. A congruence of developments in various technologies and government policies made these groups possible in the early 2010s. In 2012, nonprofit Code for America began absorbing these citizen groups under its new Brigade division. However, not all civic hacking groups are Code for America Brigades. Little is known about civic hacking because it is a young, diffuse and nebulous citizen driven social movement. The individual groups represent a new and potentially disruptive type of citizen driven and action oriented organization within their local collaborative governance networks. This research represents the first comprehensive database of civic hacking groups in the US including their characteristics and activities. Preliminary findings include several key points. First, civic hacking groups are significantly more likely to both arise and be successful in Democrat leaning areas. Second, the most active civic hacking groups are not located in recognized IT business cluster areas. Third, even with the help of Code for America, a low percentage of civic hacking groups are successfully transitioning from social movements to formal social movement organizations. Fourth, civic hacking represents a new form of citizen participation.

Comments

Winner of Outstanding Graduate Oral Presentation

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COinS
 
Mar 6th, 1:45 PM Mar 6th, 2:00 PM

Citizen Engagement, Collaborative Governance and the Civic Hacking Group Social Movement in the United States

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

The purpose of this research is to increase our understanding of civic hacking within the US. Civic hacking consists of selforganized groups of citizens voluntarily creating new digital interfaces for government data or service information. Examples include clearstreets.org and answers.oaklandnet.com. A congruence of developments in various technologies and government policies made these groups possible in the early 2010s. In 2012, nonprofit Code for America began absorbing these citizen groups under its new Brigade division. However, not all civic hacking groups are Code for America Brigades. Little is known about civic hacking because it is a young, diffuse and nebulous citizen driven social movement. The individual groups represent a new and potentially disruptive type of citizen driven and action oriented organization within their local collaborative governance networks. This research represents the first comprehensive database of civic hacking groups in the US including their characteristics and activities. Preliminary findings include several key points. First, civic hacking groups are significantly more likely to both arise and be successful in Democrat leaning areas. Second, the most active civic hacking groups are not located in recognized IT business cluster areas. Third, even with the help of Code for America, a low percentage of civic hacking groups are successfully transitioning from social movements to formal social movement organizations. Fourth, civic hacking represents a new form of citizen participation.