Sustainability of Civic Tech

In the so-called digital age, democracy is experiencing unprecedented changes. The new possibilities that digital technologies offer can be both a threat and an opportunity for democratic values.

As we have already witnessed, digital technologies can be used for influencing elections, spreading fake news, or creating polarization; however, they can also be used to help citizens make a positive impact or improve transparency in governments.

In this context, civic technologies emerge as tools and services that can help create new opportunities for democracy. However, there is little research on the actual impact of civic technologies on democratic processes.

From January to September 2019, I visited the Participation Lab at MediaLab Prado in Madrid where I investigated ways in which civic technologies impact, or hinder, democratic processes. During this period I worked with civil servants, policymakers, citizens, and researchers in different projects dealing with participatory, digital technologies, and democracy. One of the outcomes of this research is a report on the sustainability of civic technologies, which can be found here.

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