NDI was pleased to support the Code for All Network at their annual Code for All Summit, which took place in Taipei, Taiwan, at the margins of Taiwan’s CivicTech Festival.
Code for All is an international network of organizations who believe that digital technology opens new channels for citizens to more meaningfully engage in the public sphere and have a positive impact on their communities.
As one member of the community, Code for America founder and Executive Director, Jen Pahlka has noted, “User-centered design is not just how we should be designing technology; it is how we should be designing government.” A number of the Code for All partners seek to harness civic tech volunteers and fellows to co-create, with government, solutions to community problems.
The Code for All network includes member organizations from all regions of the world. Governing partners include Code for America; Code for Africa; Code for Australia; Code for Canada; Code for Germany; Code for Japan; Code for Netherlands; Code for Romania; Code for Pakistan; Codeando Mexico (Code for Mexico); Fundacja ePanstwo (Code for Poland); g0v.tw/Open Culture foundation (Code for Taiwan); Laboratorio para la Ciudad; OpenUp (Code for South Africa); and SlashRoots Foundation (Code For the Caribbean).
User-centered design is not just how we should be designing technology; it is how we should be designing government.
Jen Pahlka, Code for America Executive Director
The Code for All network provides an opportunity for these leading civic tech organizations to collaborate and share good practices within this diverse ecosystem of civic technologists. Whenever possible, the Code for All network seeks to reuse existing tools, standards and platforms, encouraging integration and extension. The network operates as a global community, leveraging each other’s knowledge and resources, recognizing that the work of the partner organizations is better when strengthened through learning and relationships from within the global community.
NDI has been a supporter of the Code for All movement for many years. In 2013, NDI gave its Democracy Award to “The Civic Innovator,” recognizing a number of people from within this movement, including Jen Pahlka, the founder and Executive Director of Code for America. Since that time, NDI has provided support to Code for All members, including bringing the community together at the margins of a previous Code for America Summit in Oakland, California. NDI has helped to support exchanges of personnel and information among Code for All chapters.
The network continues to develop, having recently named a Community Manager, Bogdan Ivanel, from Code for Romania, to help manage the community. In addition, the Network has designated an additional community manager, Wu Min Hsuan, to support exchanges among the network members. The meeting in Taipei provided an opportunity for the network to further collaboration and support among Code for All members, as well as to strengthen governance of the network.
The Code for All Summit was held against the backdrop of #CivicTechFest, which included two major civic tech events: TICTeC Tapei (hosted by g0v and mysociety) and the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT). Throughout TICTeC, Code for All members were able to learn from their peers outside of the network and share the wide diversity of projects being conceived and implemented around the world. All in attendance were inspired by the work of their peers.
The Code for All Summit included a working lunch with Stephen King from the Omidyar Network to discuss good practices in managing networks of civic tech, as well as ways to engage a broader community of donors in supporting civic tech work. Hosted by the Open Cultural Foundation (OCF) and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, the Code for All Summit provided an opportunity for the network to focus on six main issues:
- fellowships and exchanges:
- funding and partnerships;
- knowledge exchange;
- collaboration on joint projects and;
- governance and membership.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the facilitators of each working group will synthesize the decisions and develop a plan for implementing the conclusions. The Summit concluded with a board meeting of the Code for All network, where it was agreed to form an executive committee of three rotating members to allow the network to move quickly on a number of issues.
NDI looks forward to continued collaboration with the Code for All Network and its partner members to expand a culture of civic innovation globally.