Three years with the Civic Innovation Accelerator Fund: the journey so far

This blog has described many of the projects supported by our Civic Innovation Accelerator Fund (o Appcivico, as it is known by many). Today, we will tell you a little bit more about ourselves.

The Fund, an initiative of Omidyar Network, Fundación Avina and Avina Americas, was launched in December, 2012, with the goal of converging social movements and civic developers, using technology as a bridge. After three years and a USD 1.6 million investment, we have identified and comprehensively supported the implementation of technological innovations aimed at boosting collective social change strategies in Latin America.

After assessing almost 300 projects, the Fund supported the creation and development of 21 platforms in 8 countries in the region: Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina. All these efforts managed to articulate the use of technology (online actions) and offline actions (indirect use of technology). Besides, over 100 alliances have been promoted between developers’ organizations and institutions, both public and private, which boost civic processes in the region.

Thanks to constant and ongoing interaction, what we know as the Ecosystem of Technologies for Social Change began to take shape around civic technologies and the use of open data. This ecosystem includes diverse actors: civil society organizations, governments, civic hackers, journalists, scholars and citizens.

After three years of hard work, we came to understand that implementing a project meant progressing through four levels: the initial stages of design and development, the launch, and the definition of strategic and incidence campaigns. We decided that presenting a sample of our ecosystem was a good way of summarizing the distance we have traveled.

We visited five countries and interviewed over 45 actors, who, thanks to their broad and enriching perspective, helped us analyze what we have achieved and discuss what is to come. Listening to the voices of the protagonists —the people responsible for the projects— has made it possible for us to identify the achievements and the lessons learned along the way, and to define future challenges.

After coming such a long way, we are glad to show you five videos which condense the essence of our work: a choir of actors who believe in social change based on the use of civic technologies. Each video represents a stage in the journey:

1. What is the Civic Innovation Accelerator Fund? The challenge of bridging the gap between civic developers and social movements:

2. How can technologies lead to social change? Towards a theory on social change:

3. Accelerator Fund’s outcomes in Latin America. Our track-record, in numbers:

4. Learning process of the Civic Innovation Accelerator Fund. The creation of a practice community:

5. What impact do civic technologies have? Envisioning the ecosystem’s future:

We believe that these videos successfully showcase the energy and the commitment shown towards our work, both at Fundación Avina and Omidyar Network, and by all the actors who were part of this fruitful journey in these three years.