At Code for America and Civic Commons, we’re a small team with a big mission: we’re trying to change the way governments work, the way they leverage technology, and the way they interact with citizens. We think central to that effort is developing a deep understanding of the current environment — specifically around their use of technology and the policies that guide it — and then open it up, turning into into a public resource for anyone interested in coding for America. Those learnings are as critical as any app we build.
At Civic Commons, we’ve begun this process with the CC Wiki & Legal Guide, cataloging open data initiatives, procurement challenges, and open standards, and along the way, we’ve also built a Marketplace to identify “what’s working, where” in terms of civic technology.
Next year, we will be taking trying to proactively leverage that information to disrupt the government IT ecosystem — valued at over $140 Billion per year — through entrepreneurship and collaboration. In particular, we’re going to be recruiting startups into the world’s first Civic Seed Accelerator where we give the new companies the resources, mentorship, and support to succeed. This is our way to start giving shape and meaning to this emerging market.
But we’ll need your help. The research we’ve compiled is really just the start; we need to dig deeper and wider: more cities, more information, more opportunities. That’s why we’re assembling a team of Research Interns for the Spring 2012 to help up open up access to this promising space.
In particular, we are looking for research interns to look into and understand the following areas:
- “What Do Have? What do you need?”: What are they using, what do they need, and what could be better. For this, you’ll need to engage directly with city officials, making strong relationships along the way, and helping flesh out the civic tech landscape and identifying opportunities for innovation.
- The Rules of the Game: Every government has a set of often quite extensive policies surrounding their procurement of software, and these rules can be a burden to new entrepureners trying to get into the market. By opening up information about these rules, you’ll not only boost government transparency, but also pave the way for new civic startups.
As a CfA Policy intern, you’ll receive mentorship from our staff and board of advisors, guidance in navigating the increasingly relevant civic tech space, and hopefully a fun experience with a group of equally passionate and nerdy civic geeks. And in addition to learning a lot, you’ll also make a real difference on something that matters.
Interested? Great. We’re looking to get started right away, late-January latest. Drop us a line with your interest and experience: firstname.lastname@example.org.