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Civic Technologies as Tools for Change: Is Balance Between Online and Offline Actions a Necessary Condition for Achiveing Social Change through Civic Innovation?

December 06, 2016 by Fondo Acelerador de Innovaciones Cívicas

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The civic technology ecosystem in Latin America is constantly evolving, and the AVINA Foundation-Omidyar Network Civic Innovation Accelerator Fund has proven to be a catalyst for powerful experiences of technological innovation for social change in the region. However, there remains the challenge to determine the real impact created by civic applications. This gives rise to the following question: what are the necessary conditions for civic applications to be a key instrument to reduce the gap between governments and citizens, and thus improve people’s living standards? The learnings from the three years since the inception of the Civic Innovation Accelerator Fund, born from an alliance between AVINA Foundation and Omidyar Network, contribute to answering the question regarding the impact and importance of both online (direct platform use) and offline (indirect platform use) actions. Within the framework of an evaluation of the projects supported by the Fund in Latin America, a set of actions were systematized to help balance offline and online actions in civic technology projects, and thus consolidate its role as a tool for social change and increase its potential for impact among citizens.