Civic Apps Competition Handbook
A Guide to Planning, Organizing, and Troubleshooting
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2012
Pages: 78

Organize a Civic Apps Competition (CAC) in your city. This practical guide provides best practices for each phase of the process, based largely on the authors’ firsthand experience planning and managing Apps for Metro Chicago (A4MC). You’ll learn everything from setting goals and creating a budget to running the competition and measuring the outcome.

CACs provide software programmers with platforms for building effective apps, using open government data as a way to foster community involvement and make government more transparent. This handbook helps you address serious questions about the process and shows you what’s required for making your competition successful.

  • Gain insights from the authors’ survey of 15 CACs in the US and Canada
  • Get guidelines for establishing specific goals, and evaluate results with reliable metrics
  • Understand major costs involved and build a budget around partners and sponsors
  • Determine participation incentives, prize categories, and judging
  • Avoid unstructured data sets by being selective when choosing public datasets
  • Learn how the authors handled roadblocks during the A4MC competition
  • Discover ways to sustain lasting community interest once the CAC is over
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oreillyCivic Apps Competition Handbook

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Very helpful!

By Jonathan

from Chicago. IL

Comments about oreilly Civic Apps Competition Handbook:

Good use of real world data on how these things work.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Recommended to help Open Government+

By Zalakain

from Sarriguren, Nafarroa

About Me Designer, Developer, Maker

Verified Reviewer


  • Common Sense
  • Concise
  • Well-written


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Comments about oreilly Civic Apps Competition Handbook:

I decided to read this short (77 pages) handbook just for the simple reason that I am interested in Open Government/Data and Apps, so the mix always rings a bell.

The handbook is a concise read written by Kate Eyler-Werve and Virginia Carlson based on their experiences running the Apps for Metro Chicago contest.
Filled with advices and, best of all, common sense judgements (do you really need a huge budget to run a valuable contest? where does the real value of the contest reside?) that can be taken home. All it takes to read it is just more than an afternoon, but the way it is organized (7 chapters, starting on the ROI elements of a CAC contest and finishing on how to build on top of any contest's outcome) is so logical that all the main aspects that must be known in order to run a CAC contest (or any software-related contest, to be honest) are covered.

A read I recommend if you are into CAC or want to push on the use of Open Government in your community. (Just don't expect to find a plethora of ideas for your next killer-app, though! ;).

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