Civic Apps Competition Handbook

Book description

Organize a Civic Apps Competition (CAC) in your city. This practical guide provides best practices for each phase of the process, based largely on the authors’ firsthand experience planning and managing Apps for Metro Chicago (A4MC). You’ll learn everything from setting goals and creating a budget to running the competition and measuring the outcome.

CACs provide software programmers with platforms for building effective apps, using open government data as a way to foster community involvement and make government more transparent. This handbook helps you address serious questions about the process and shows you what’s required for making your competition successful.

  • Gain insights from the authors’ survey of 15 CACs in the US and Canada
  • Get guidelines for establishing specific goals, and evaluate results with reliable metrics
  • Understand major costs involved and build a budget around partners and sponsors
  • Determine participation incentives, prize categories, and judging
  • Avoid unstructured data sets by being selective when choosing public datasets
  • Learn how the authors handled roadblocks during the A4MC competition
  • Discover ways to sustain lasting community interest once the CAC is over

Table of contents

  1. Civic Apps Competition Handbook
  2. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
  3. Preface
    1. A Practical Guide for Organizing a Civic Apps Competition
    2. This Guide
    3. Contact Us
    4. Conventions Used in This Book
    5. Using Code Examples
    6. Safari® Books Online
    7. How to Contact Us
  4. 1. The Pursuit of Accountability, Efficiency, and Economic Growth
    1. History of Apps Contests
      1. CACs and Goals—Do They Deliver?
        1. Transparency and accountability
        2. Government efficiency
        3. Private sector activity
      2. Competition ROI
    2. Next Chapter: What CACs Create
  5. 2. Benefits of Civic Apps Competitions
    1. Case Study
    2. What Civic Apps Competitions Achieve
      1. Accountability
        1. 1. Raise awareness of available open government data sources
        2. 2. Focus energy on building apps on open data
        3. 3. Improve government transparency by making open data accessible
      2. Government Efficiency
        1. 4. Create apps that benefit people and businesses
        2. 5. Crowdsource public data priorities
      3. Economic Growth
        1. 6. Drive innovation
        2. 7. Build a community of practice around open government data
    3. Next Chapter: Goals and Metrics
  6. 3. Identifying Goals and Metrics for Your Apps Competition
    1. Translating Benefits into Goals and Metrics
      1. 1. Raise Awareness of Available Open Government Data Sources
      2. 2. Build Apps on Open Data
      3. 3. Create Apps That Benefit Residents, Visitors, and Businesses
      4. 4. Improve Government Transparency
      5. 5. Drive Innovation
      6. 6. Crowdsource Data Publishing Priorities
      7. 7. Build a Community of Practice Around Open Government Data
    2. Identifying Your Competition’s Ideal Goals and Metrics of Success
    3. Table of Robust Goals and Metrics
    4. Next Chapter: Building Your Budget
  7. 4. Building Your CAC Budget
    1. Partners
    2. The Data
    3. Cash Prizes
    4. Competition Web Platform
    5. Administration
      1. Project Director
      2. Project Manager
      3. Outreach and Coordination to Civic Organizations and Civic Hackers
      4. Communications
      5. Technical Support
      6. Legal Review
    6. Technical Support
    7. Competition Length
      1. Additional Costs
    8. Defraying Costs
      1. Partners and Workload
    9. Next Chapter: Data Resources
  8. 5. Surveying Your Data Resources
    1. Structured Versus Unstructured Data
    2. Data Content
      1. Organizational Data
      2. Government Operations
    3. Documentation
    4. Next Chapter: Design
  9. 6. Designing Your CAC
    1. Participation Incentives
      1. Multiple Award Categories
      2. Professional Networking Opportunities
      3. Solving an Interesting Problem
    2. Prize Categories
    3. Judging Criteria
      1. The Open-Ended Approach
      2. The Targeted Approach
    4. Judging Process
    5. Judge Selection
    6. Type of Eligible Apps: Mobile, Web, Tablet
    7. Participation Drivers: Events and Communications
    8. Next Chapter: Common Roadblocks
  10. 7. Common Roadblocks
    1. Who Owns the App After the Competition Is Over?
      1. Legal Review of the Rules
      2. Submission System and Rules
      3. Screening Out Ineligible Submissions
      4. Testing Competition Apps
      5. Preventing Public Voter Cheating
      6. Dealing with the Disgruntled
    2. Next Chapter: The Long Game
  11. 8. Building on Success
    1. Engaging in Conversation
      1. Blogging
      2. Twitter
      3. Email Lists
    2. Participating in Events
      1. Hold Constituent Meetings
      2. Attend Events Hosted by Other Open Data and Open Government Groups
      3. Conferences
    3. Continuing to Build Apps
      1. Partner with Other Open Government Events and Projects
      2. Hackathons and Events
        1. Interview with Jake Porway, Executive Director of DataKind
        2. Interview with Veronica Ludwig, Code for America’s IdeaHack organizer
        3. Interview with Willow Brugh, Director and James Carlson, Advisor, Random Hacks of Kindness/Geeks without Bounds
    4. Closing Thoughts
      1. Accountability
      2. Government Efficiency
      3. For-Profit Innovation
  12. About the Authors
  13. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
  14. Copyright

Product information

  • Title: Civic Apps Competition Handbook
  • Author(s): Kate Eyler-Werve, Virginia Carlson
  • Release date: September 2012
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781449322601