A government is only as effective as the power they give to the people. It is the public that can give ideas and thoughts on unique innovations that can build a nation and, ultimately, the rest of the world. This is what Code for America Project is all about. It offers an open source platform for individuals and organizations to create technology that ensures a smoother and quicker way of offering up government services to the public. It can be a catalyst for innovation in the health, justice, economic development and security. It gives entrepreneurs with the penchant for the greater good to grow, learn and make an impact in the public sector. To participate, just join one of the Code of America Brigades, a fellowship or simply assist with sorting out issues announced by Code for America on Github. The 2015 Fellowship Program was announced at last year’s CFA Summit in conjunction with 8 local governments. Calling all Civic-Minded Coders!
The CFA Summit 2015
The Code for America (CFA) Summit 2015 will be held between September 30th and October 2nd at the Oakland Marriot City Center. It will be a time for over 1,300 community members, leaders, and technology bigwigs to craft new technology for the government in the 21st Century and beyond. The final list of speakers is yet to be confirmed, but the morning sessions will be reserved for mainstage talks as well as keynote speeches. It gets interesting in the afternoon as it will be all about Breakouts, Hackspace, Unconference and a Tech Fair. There is still time to register as an individual or group for the seminar as well as a chance to be a sponsor. The main supporters are Microsoft and Accela, the cloud-based civic engagement solutions provider for the government.
Successful CFA Projects
Since the inception of the Code for America project, there have been several success stories to come out of it. CFA offers accelerator and incubator opportunities and this has given rise to some of the most innovative and effective apps to date.
This is a technological solution for local governments that assists them in offering up public services in a quick, seamless and organized manner. Some of the services it offers includes:
· NextRequest: a solution that lets the local government share the status of requested public records, shortening lines in all sorts of government offices.
· Promptly: a text messaging service that reminds the public of local government payments, dues and service renewals in good time. This piece of tech has helped many people avoid having their services shut off because they simply forgot to send in their payment.
· CityVoice: gives local residents a chance to share their opinions and allows their views to be heard. This feedback is invaluable for local governments looking to improve their services to the community.
Small and mid-sized businesses need all the help that they can get from influencers and the best technology on the market. Bizfriendly gives entrepreneurs a chance to connect with civic and business leaders, employees, local governments and web service providers. It gives interested parties a chance to learn, interact and teach where possible. Its roots are in Kansas City and has been used by the Mayor’s Office.
Social media has become key in personal, business and government communications. This app lets a government entity monitor their social media reach, gives users a chance to schedule messages in advance, make use of existing analytics to offer up the best social media messages and also lets them create an effective social media workflow plan.
The Code for America project is responsible for a myriad of online initiatives and both free and paid apps. These include Civic Insight, Discover BPS, Learn Sprout, Local Data, and the list goes on. In order to learn more about these initiatives, the subsequent fellowship programs, learn about the incubator and accelerator programs as well as connect with 1,300 of the biggest minds in government and technology, book yourself a ticket to the Code For America Summit 2015 and you might just learn more in 3 days than you would learn in a year of classes and tutorials.