Chapter 3. Identifying Goals and Metrics for Your Apps Competition

Why are you holding a civic apps competition? What are you trying to achieve? These are important questions, because the goals you identify for your competition will direct every aspect of the design and planning process.

A review of 15 civic apps competitions shows remarkable consistency in the stated goals; organizers wanted to improve transparency, cut government costs, benefit people and businesses, and drive innovation.

While these goals are a good starting point, they are vaguely defined and difficult to measure. In addition, they don’t capture any of the benefits of building a community of developers, businesses, and institutions interested in using open government data.

This is a short chapter where we’re going to tease out how to measure benefits of civic apps competitions that we covered in Chapter 2. This discussion might help you decide among goals, or prioritize them. At the end of the chapter we’ve included a table pairing each goal with a range of metrics, so if text isn’t your bag skip to Table 3-1.

Translating Benefits into Goals and Metrics

1. Raise Awareness of Available Open Government Data Sources

“Raising awareness” is a communications term that means getting the word out to the public about an issue. Traditionally this is measured by the number of media hits the issue receives.

For a CAC, raising awareness means to inspire as many people as possible to participate in the competition. So in addition ...

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