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This is the main question tackled the ‘Scaling Civic Tech: Paths to a Sustainable Future’, a recently released report summarised insights on this booming sector, developing a more nuanced understanding of civic tech business models.
What exactly is “civic tech”?
Civic tech: technology used to inform, engage and connect residents with government and one another to advance civic outcomes.
GovTech: technology designed with government as the intended customer or user.
Civic tech and GovTech are neither mutually exclusive nor perfectly overlapping. According to the research, as opposed to GovTech, which includes many technologies government use to increase the efficiency of its internal operations, civic tech tools largely include a citizen-facing component.
This report focuses on civic tech organisations of which a subset would also be considered GovTech. [Download PDF]
Key findings include:
- A lack of success stories from civic tech start-ups
- Variations in revenue model
- Different growth paths
- Lack of rigorous and consistant impact measurement
- Philantropic funding targeting specific projects and not core capacities