Civic application is application software aiming at users' activation to participate in public good development through this application. In civil societies, civic applications are created to enhance public good, civic engagement, and generally social capital.
Civic applications can for example aim at:
- development of engaged citizenship,
- strengthening of local communities,
- growth of democracy,
- supporting entrepreneurship,
- protection of nature and a common living space, etc.
Civic applications are to some extent often social networking services, but what distinguishes them is the civic goal, the mission funding its existence.
Interaction between the user and the application is what differentiates civic applications from any IT service (website, portal) speaking about any citizen's topics, where interaction is not necessary and if exists often takes form of commenting under articles.
Civic application can be accessed from a server via an Internet browser (online) or using mobile devices, such as mobile phones or tablets (mobile), less often from user's local drive (offline).
Non-Governmental Organisations and public national institutions are noticing the value of the civic apps and invite people working in Information Technology domain to participate in their development (e.g. in Greater Portland, Chicago, Boston, Boulder, Washington D.C, Seattle and other American cities as part of the Code For America initiative). Very often they are created as part of "hackatons", IT development competitions.
Civic applications are part of a greater concept of civic technologies, which encompass variety of civic applications, together with any software tools and platforms, enabling its development or hosting, and the software supporting local and national governments in performing their public functions.
- "civicapps.org for Greater Portland".
- "Open City - Civic apps built with open data".
- "Harris: A selection of civic apps that aid Chicagoans".
- "Five Cities Get Free Civic Apps Through Code for America".
- "Code for America Apps and APIs".
- "Civic Apps Competition Handbook".
- "Hundreds of developers use open data to create civic apps".