How It All Began

Almost immediately after Code for America's founding four years ago, scores of people from dozens of countries began approaching us wanting help adapting our programs to their local context. Still young enough to be unsure how our own programs worked, we hesitated to get involved outside our borders. It quickly became apparent that we not only had a lot to share, but we could learn about how our programs worked by seeing how they got deployed in and adapted to other places.

In May 2013, we launched Code for All with three very diverse pilot partners in Mexico City, Germany and the Caribbean. All three take distinct approaches and are working in very different geographies. That diversity allows the Code for All partners to learn as much as we can about the ways civic technology projects function across contexts—from cities to federal ministries, urban to rural, developing to developed.

A year later, the founding partners have learned more than we could have imagined about building effective civic technology programs. We're pleased to share a case study that examines our first partnerships with international groups to run civic technology programs inside of government agencies. We hope that this makes future projects easier to start and scale, and that all of our work will be better when it is connected.

Catherine Bracy
Director of Community Organizing
Code for America