What’s happening in Civic Tech this week?

We’ve put together a list of opportunities, news, resources, and events that you may be interested in. We would love to hear from you. Should you have and opportunities, news, resources, and events you would like to share with the African civic tech community, please email Nkosinathi Mcetywa at nkosinathi.mcetywa@wits.ac.za

Source: Photo by John Adams on Unsplash

Call for Submissions: U.S.-West Africa Tech Challenge

The U.S.-West Africa Tech Challenge aims to advance the development of innovative tech solutions that help expose, understand, or counter disinformation, propaganda, and violent extremism within Coastal West Africa. Up to three winners will split a $250,000 USD award. It is open to companies based across Africa. The U.S.-West Africa Tech Challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Global Engagement Center, in collaboration with U.S. Embassy Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, UNDP, She Code Africa, Impact Hub Abidjan, and Becera..read more

Deadline: Sunday, 16 July 2023

Submission Link

Vote for a topic of interest within civic tech

As a way to cater to our community better, we would like to know all about what your current interests in the civic tech space are. Which topic would you most like to learn more about? Your votes will inform the topics we choose to focus on and share with our community. 

Deadline: Thursday, 27 July 2023

Vote Here

Call for entries: Public Sector Innovations Award Programme

The Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) is a South African national government component within the Portfolio of the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, tasked with the mandate of entrenching the culture and practice of innovation in the Public Sector. This is done through various programmes that unearth, recognise and nurture the replication of innovative solutions to improve service delivery. The Executive Director (Acting) of Centre for Public Service Innovation, Ms Lydia Sebokedi in partnership with the Director-General in the Free State Office of the Premier, Mr Kopung Ralikontsane, officially launched the 21st Public Sector Innovation Awards 2023 Programme – Call for Entries 2023 at the Bloem Spa and Conference Hotel  Bloemfontein, Free State…read more

Deadline: Friday, 25 August 2023

Entry Form

Vote for the 2023 Global Challenge finalists

MIT Solve’s Global Challenges seek social entrepreneurs who are using technology to solve today’s most pressing problems. Those selected as a Solver team join our nine-month support program, receive access to over $1 million in funding, grants, and investments, join a powerful network of impact-minded leaders, receive coaching and strategic advice from experts, and gain exposure in the media, among many other benefits. Voting for the 2023 Global Challenges is now open. Vote for your favorite solution from each Challenge. The finalist from each Challenge with the most votes will receive a $2,000 Community Award which will be announced during Solve Challenge Finals on September 18, 2023…read more

Deadline: Saturday, 16 September 2023

Vote Here

Empire Partner Foundation Tech Awards

The Empire Partner Foundation (EPF) has been actively involved in promoting the development of youth and entrepreneur skills in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector since 2016. EPF has a strong focus on recognizing and supporting local talent and technology in South Africa. To highlight and celebrate the achievements in this field, EPF organizes the Annual South African Technology Awards. This prestigious event aims to showcase the talent and technology of tech-based businesses across all nine provinces of South Africa. The awards will provide an opportunity for these businesses to gain recognition and exposure for their innovative contributions to the ICT sector. EPF is enthusiastic about creating a platform that not only acknowledges the achievements of South African tech businesses but also encourages their continued growth and success. …read more

Deadline: Saturday, 30 September 2023

Entry Form

Call to submit new research in civic tech the field

The Civic Tech in Africa Evidence Map, launched in March 2023 was a joint collaboration between CTIN and the South Africa Centre for Evidence (SACE). The project aimed to create an up to date evidence base on African civic tech research. This comprehensive research database provides information about the size, type, concentration and focus of research topics, while classifying each piece of literature into key themes. CTIN will be maintaining and updating the evidence map bi-yearly. As such, we would like to extend an invitation to organisations and researchers in the civic tech space to submit new research in the field – including both academic and non-academic research (reports, policy briefs, opinion pieces and case studies). Once reviewed, the studies will be added to the evidence map. 

Submit to yasmin.shapurjee@wits.ac.za

Call for case studies: Misinformation, Disinformation, Malinformation Case Studies from Civil Society Organsiations

The International Civil Society Centre is looking for case studies on misinformation, disinformation and malinformation to promote in our extensive network and to share widely across the sector on innovative ways civil society organisations are currently tackling mis/dis and malinformation. The case studies will be used to highlight the evolving methods and tools used to spread mis, dis and malinformation and the constructive ways civil society organisations are working to address and counter this issue in their own work and communities. They are particularly interested in receiving case studies from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), South-West Asia and North Africa (SWANA), Asia and the Pacific Islands…read more 

Entry Form

COMMUNITY NEWS 

ANALYSIS | Using Africa’s precious civic innovation capacity to be Bee-Watcher-Watchering

In the publication Civic Tech in Southern Africa: Alternative Democracy and Governance Futures?, data from the Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN) ‘s database shows that of the various civic tech sectors catalogued, over 60% of initiatives in Southern Africa are in “Democracy & Governance” (D&G). This means they are focused on issues such as governance accountability and transparency, including key themes of anti-corruption and elections, e.g. by promoting targeted open data portals and platform initiatives. This finding is consistent with what we find in the literature, which also highlights that democracy and governance are often the dominant preoccupation of civic tech initiatives.This means that the majority of the skill and capacity within the civic space, leveraging the newest technologies and methodologies, as well as the passion and energy of young innovators, is being expended in “bee watcher watchering”…read more 

ANALYSIS | Is #DIYAfrica the future?

In 2021, the Civic Tech Innovation Forum ‘21 chose as its headline theme – #DIYAfrica. This theme explored questions of what a hyper-democratised society may have to look like in an age where governments seemed to be flailing, exacerbated by the impacts of Covid-19. What if Africans on the ground had to get on with building their own futures, where technology might enable empowerment, participation, critique, and even resistance? This theme seemed to resonate with the spirit of the times, and leveraged a similar narrative from the European Union (EU) Future of Government 2030+ scenarios (EU, 2019), which had posited a scenario entitled “DIY Democracy”. This DIY scenario was characterised by decentralising power and self-organised communities, with the civic rising as a key governance actor. It was a story of the co-creation of public services enabled by grassroots participation, digitalisation and the democratisation of tech. Could this be the emerging African story, the conference was asking?…read more

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Podcast: How to Grow, Sustain and Finance African Civic Tech

Financing and funding civic technology activities take up a significant portion of most organisations’ worry hours. Often, when there are shortages of funds, this is viewed as an organisational failure. But instead of looking at funding and financing as a reflection of innate value, it should rather be viewed as one of the tools that allow us to reach our social impact. It is a strategic tool that should be considered alongside all of an organisation’s other strategies as well. In this episode, Nathi Mcetywa spoke to Gabriella Razzano and Amy Mutua about some of the best ways civic tech organisations can go about financing their initiatives. They talk to us about a report they recently put together a report chronicling the challenges and opportunities associated with the financing of civic tech initiatives…read more

Listen on Apple Podcast

Listen on Spotify

Digital Dialogue 14: The Role of Partnerships in Strengthening the Impact of Civic Tech

The Digital Dialogues are a series online debates on cutting edge digital developments. Experts from around the globe and all walks of life bring a civil society perspective into various aspects of the digital transformation. The 14th Digital Dialogue focused on ​​the role of partnerships within the civic tech ecosystems in different contexts. Collaborating on civic tech initiatives and civic tech product development enables the players in the civic tech ecosystem to both connect and mutually learn, while being able to share resources, experiences, expertise and learnings. The role of partnerships offers civic tech organisations and innovators an opportunity to use existing digital technologies and leverage good working relationships with stakeholders within an existing network. The Dialogue reflected on case studies in which partnerships helped shape the development and implementation of civic tech projects across different communities and contexts. Invited panelists represented different role players within the civic tech field such as civic innovators, local government officials, community-based organsiations and the private sector.

Watch full discussion here

COMMUNITY EVENTS   

Save the Date: CTIF & Jamfest Conference 2023

CTIN’s annual conference, Civic Tech Innovation Forum (CTIF) is intended to enable the civic tech community and ecosystem actors to engage face-to-face (and virtually!), learn about innovations, tools, and techniques, share experiences, and meet potential collaborators. It presents an opportunity to gain an overview of what is going on in the sector in Africa and the world. The conference also provides an opportunity for the Civic Tech Innovation Network to consult with network members to inform the design of future activities. Jamfest, organised by Jamlab Africa is a conference that brings together journalists, media managers, and other stakeholders across the African continent to talk about innovations, content, and audience analytics, among other conversations. These two events make up the joint conference,  CTIF, and Jamfest. The CTIF and Jamfest is an opportunity to showcase innovators in media and civic technology who are helping move Africa forward; innovators who are tributary streams, unclogging the continent’s rivers of possibility and letting them flow…read more

Date: 16 – 19 October 2023

Digital Transformation Summit South Africa  2023

The 21st Edition of the Digital Transformation Summit: South Africa is an invitation-only in-person event which will create a platform for strategic partnerships between sectors and industry players, answer real business challenges, and focus on skill development to help accelerate South Africa’s digital transformation. The Summit aims to get  a deeper understanding of how organizations are currently adopting digital transformation and how the country is working on enhancing the Human-Machine Relationship. This Summit will bring together 150+ C-Level Executives, Directors, and Heads of Technology to discuss innovative technology solutions that will fully exploit the potential of Web 3.0, AI, metaverse, blockchain, cryptocurrency, ICT, IoT, cyber security and other 4IR technologies which will become a beacon of hope in South Africa’s social and developmental challenges…read more

Date: Thursday, 20 July 2023

Enquire Now

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