Accessibility

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Civic Technology (shortly referred to as Civic Tech) represents those technologies that are designed and deployed to specifically enhance the relationship between citizens, citizens and the government, citizens and other entities such as businesses. The core concept of civic tech is to give citizens more of a voice to actively participate in digital governance decision-making processes and engage in the improvement of governmental services delivery, for the social good. These technologies can either be developed by non-profit organisations or for-profit companies, or even by the government itself.

Civic tech offers obvious benefits by helping citizens connect to each other and interact with their government, it empowers citizens and fuels societal change. It can also help governments to acquire a better understanding of the needs and requirements of their citizens. Civic tech helps increase legitimacy by associating citizens with democratic participation, digital inclusion and transparent decision-making.

Civic tech is a mutually beneficial instrument to enhance intersectoral cohesion for the common wellbeing and social good. Civic tech solutions enhance government openness and transparency, which builds citizens’ confidence in the state. By enabling citizens to access data and information about the activities of authorities, i.e., via civic platforms, governments provide an opportunity for collective decision-making. Moreover, citizens can find like-minded people in designated forums or in local communities and then jointly launch a social initiative. Information crowdfunding allows citizens to collect data from users to identify urgent urban problems and their further solutions. Thus, civic tech platforms form a community of active citizens. Business-wise, civic tech provides companies opportunities to capitalise on their corporate social responsibility projects with the help of citizens and governments.

Authors

Irina Buzu
Irina Buzu

Irina is a techlaw and intellectual property attorney, currently pursuing her PhD research in AI regulation with a focus on the legal status and accountability of AI. She is an emerging technologies fellow at Europuls, as well as a Algorithmic decision making cycle co-lead at the Institute for Internet and the Just Society. Most recently, she became part of the AI literacy expert group of the Council of Europe and a member of the European AI Alliance.