Tech for Social Justice

The Technology for Social Justice Field Scan

The Technology for Social Justice Field Scan is a participatory action research project intended to better understand the types of work currently being done with technology for social justice (and more broadly, in the public interest), as well as the pathways people take into this work. The goal is to identify people, groups, and networks who work in this space, including those who are not ‘the usual suspects’ in the civic technology world, and to learn from them: what their paths into the work have been; what they see as their greatest constraints; where they see barriers; and what they feel is most needed to grow and diversify the field.

June 2016: Project kickoff! Secondary research starts, including the development of an annotated bibliography, and the beginnings of the organization list

July 2016: Interviews with practitioners in the field of Public Interest Technology begin

August 2016: Taxonomy of the fields within the umbrella of Public Interest Technology is produced, and interviews continue

September 2016: List of people, projects, and organizations is futher developed, and interviews continue

October 2016: Preliminary interviews are "coded" to identify common themes and powerful quotes

November 2016: "Building the Next Generation of Public Interest Technologists" workshop is held at the Code for America Summit in Oakland, CA

December 2016: Partners for the participatory phase of the research are selected

February 2017: Invitations to join the research design process and research team are sent out to organizations that are representative of, and are doing the best work in the field of technology for social justice

March 2017: a Kickoff convening with the new research partners is held at ThoughtWorks in New York City to collaboratively design the next stage of research

April 2017: Everything learned at the convening is collectively synthesized

May 2017: Phase 2 research design continues

June 2017: Phase 2 Interviews begin, a focus group is held at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, and a tool is developed to gather tax information on organizations that use technology for social justice

July 2017: Interviews are in full swing, and both primary and secondary research are conducted by the original team and organizational partners

August 2017: Synthesis and report-writing begin

September 2017: Report published and disseminated! Project wraps up.