We believe that governments can make better use of scarce technology dollars by working together to solve common problems. We’re helping them share their solutions, knowledge, and best practices.
Civic technology experts have recognized the benefits of sharing technology among governments and institutions. However, instances of successful collaboration and sharing are still few and far between, in part because there is no easy, structured way to share knowledge about this software, let alone the software itself. There is no one place to go to look for civic software that cities need, and no roadmap to share what they have.
Enter the Code for America Commons. As infrastructure for the open government movement, the CfA Commons is a community-edited resource to find out what’s working, where.
Ok, so what is it, really?
The Code for America Commons is an information product, made up of the Commons app directory and the Commons Wiki knowledge base:
The CfA Commons
Think of it like a community-driven civic app store: the CfA Commons app directory will foster the creation and growth of a community of civic technologists sharing not only information about the applications they use and their experiences with them, but also the very application code. By connecting the nation’s best civic innovators, we will stimulate better IT decision making and the reuse of civic code across the country.
The CfA Commons Wiki
When it comes to civic technology we know there is an answer to your question out there somewhere. The CfA Commons Wiki is the most robust resource on open data, open source software, and open government, including a curated legal guide on navigating the procurement processes for open source software. To help fill in the gaps, there is also a growing network of open government advocates both within and outside government that you can engage through our active network and discussion forums — see the community page for more.
And who built this?
Launched in 2011 as Civic Commons and incubated as a collaborative experiment in civic innovation in partnership with Open Plans, the CfA Commons has evolved to become a standalone, ongoing product offering at Code for America.
The CfA Commons is thankful for the generous support of the John S. and James L Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network and O’Reilly Media.