For the past 5 years I have been involved in a number of web civic engagement projects. I have seen as many successes as failures, which in one way or another have always been a lesson. Certainly, so much learning has taken me to conceive one of my own projects, for example Creating Frankfurt - a citizen participation project, which I developed four years ago in Germany. This project, as in the practice, has taught me what works and what doesn't. Because of that, I can attest that there is very little information out there on evidences and references when it comes to civic innovation. A lot is just a trend or hype and few are on the quest for a sustainable and demanded citizen participation service, which is very tricky to achieve. (Hint: It is much less about technology than most believe it is).
Here are my lessons learnt:
1. No one is waiting for you
Sad, but true. Even now, in 2014, civic participation apps are still pretty much new everywhere. No one is expecting your service and that's make it pretty hard to gain an audience. The majority of people have no expectation of civic apps...