Sustaining and Scaling Civic and Government Technology

A White Paper on Challenges, Best Practices and Recommendations

Technology continues to transform our lives, revolutionizing how and at what speed we expect to consume information, buy goods and services, and engage with each other. As every facet of our lives continues to evolve alongside the global digital revolution, there is increasing pressure for governments to invest in public-sector modernization to meet evolving expectations and civic needs in the digital age. The question of how best to harness technology to advance more efficient, responsive and effective government — in essence, to bring government into the modern, digital age — has become core to discussions about the future of democracy. Over the past 30 years, the fields of civictech and govtech have become important parts of the answer to that question.

Capitalizing on IRI’s unique position as a leading global partner for civic and govtech initiatives around the world, this white paper synthesizes core challenges and lessons learned from practitioners, funders and government to help answer the questions of why civic and govtech initiatives struggle long term and what can be done about it. This paper is intended to serve as a resource for key stakeholders — namely civic and govtech practitioners, funders and governments — to better understand how to sustain and scale initiatives in the longer term, and how to create enabling ecosystems to help civic and govtech projects achieve greater and more sustained impact.

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