These references go deeper into topics I’ve discussed in this book. Some are foundational blog posts and some are obscure books; one is a national founding document. All have made me think, and helped me practice.
I’ve generally organized the resources in each section from light to heavy reading, starting with blog posts and summaries and building toward books, with any academic works at the end.
- Mike Bracken, “On Strategy: The Strategy Is Delivery. Again,” January 6, 2013, https://mikebracken.com/blog/the-strategy-is-delivery-again/.
- Matt Edgar, “Delivering Digital Service: This Much I Have Learned,” Matt Edgar Writes Here, January 27, 2020, https://blog.mattedgar.com/2020/01/27/delivering-digital-service-this-much-i-have-learned/.
- Tim O’Reilly, “Government as a Platform,” annotations 6, no. 1 (2010): 13–40, https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/INOV_a_00056.
- Eric Gordon and Rogelio Alejandro Lopez, “The Practice of Civic Tech: Tensions in the Adoption and Use of New Technologies in Community Based Organizations,” Media and Communication 7, no. 3 (2019), https://www.cogitatiopress.com/mediaandcommunication/article/view/2180. Goes into depth about technology and community-based organizations.
- Amanda Clarke, “Digital Government Units: What Are They, and What Do They Mean for Digital Era Public Management Renewal?,” International Public Management Journal 23, no. 3 (2020): 358–379, https://doi.org/10.1080/10967494.2019.1686447. Examines national digital teams in English-speaking countries around the world and discusses how to assess their effectiveness from a public administration perspective.
- Hana Schank and Sarah Hudson, The Government Fix (Sense & Respond Press, 2019).
- Brett Goldstein and Lauren Dyson, eds., Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation by Code for America (Code for America Press, 2013), https://beyondtransparency.org/part-2/pioneering-open-data-standards-the-gtfs-story/.
- Andrew Schrock, Civic Tech (Long Beach, CA: Rogue Academic Press, 2018).
- The Constitution of the United States. (I’m not kidding—when was the last time you read it?) The government keeps a nicely indexed copy online at the National Archives (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript) or you can order a pocket version as a booklet from several publishers. (Search for “pocket constitution”.)
- Atul Gawande, “Slow Ideas,” New Yorker, July 29, 2013, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/07/29/slow-ideas.
- Ethan Zuckerman, “The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure,” Knight First Amendment Institute, Columbia University, January 17, 2020, https://knightcolumbia.org/content/the-case-for-digital-public-infrastructure.
Resources for Inclusive Tech and Anti-Racism
- Reginé M. Gilbert, Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019).
- Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery, A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences (Brooklyn, NY: Rosenfeld Media, 2014).
- Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk about Race (New York: Seal Press, 2018).
- Ibram X Kendi, How to Be an Anti-Racist (New York: One World, 2019).
- Alice Wong, ed., Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century (New York: Vintage Books, 2020).
- Christina Dunbar-Hester, Hacking Diversity: The Politics of Inclusion in Open Technology Cultures (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019).
Cautions for Civic Tech
It’s important to keep asking whether we’re actually doing good. Here are a few readings that have helped me ask that question in new ways.
- Rachel Coldicutt, “Inside the Clubcard Panopticon: Why Dominic Cummings’ Seeing Room Might Not See All That Much,” The Startup, Medium, January 10, 2020, https://medium.com/swlh/inside-the-clubcard-panopticon-why-dominic-cummings-seeing-room-might-not-see-all-that-much-f940a48ae1cd.
- Joshua Tauberer, “So You Want to Reform Democracy,” Civic Tech Thoughts from JoshData, Medium, November 22, 2015, https://medium.com/civic-tech-thoughts-from-joshdata/so-you-want-to-reform-democracy-7f3b1ef10597.
- Russell Davies, “Death to Innovation,” October 2, 2013, https://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2013/10/death-to-innovation.html.
- Virginia Eubanks, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (New York: Picador, 2018). For a good summary interview, see Jenn Stroud Rossmann, “Public Thinker: Virginia Eubanks on Digital Surveillance and People Power,” Public Books, July 9, 2020, https://www.publicbooks.org/public-thinker-virginia-eubanks-on-digital-surveillance-and-people-power/.
- James C. Scott, Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020).
Discipline Resources with a Public-Sector Angle
- Nikki Lee and Karla Reinsel, “Building Product Management Capacity in Government, Part 1,” 18F, August 22, 2019, https://18f.gsa.gov/2019/08/22/building-product-management-capacity-in-government-part-1/.
- Scott Colfer, Product Management Handbook (2018), https://scottcolfer.com/product-management-handbook/.
Design and Research
- United Kingdom Government Digital Service, “Government Design Principles,” GOV.UK, April 3, 2012, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-design-principles.
- Bernard Tyers, “Doing Ethical Research with Vulnerable Users,” ei8fdb.org, July 2, 2019, http://www.ei8fdb.org/thoughts/2019/07/doing-ethical-research-with-vulnerable-users/.
- Creative Reaction Lab, Field Guide: Equity-Centered Community Design, https://www.creativereactionlab.com/store/field-guide-equity-centered-community-design.
- Daniel X. O’Neil and the Smart Chicago Collaborative, The CUTgroup Book (2017), https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/9614ecbe/files/uploaded/TheCUTGroupBook.pdf.
- Lou Downe, Good Services: How to Design Services That Work (Amsterdam: BIS Publishers, 2020).
- Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2020).
- Elizabeth Buie and Dianne Murray, eds., Usability in Government Systems: User Experience Design for Citizens and Public Servants (San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 2012).
This isn’t my area of expertise, but people I trust have cited some of these as helpful to their own practice.
- Marianne Bellotti, “Is COBOL Holding You Hostage with Math?,” Programming, Medium, July 28, 2018, https://medium.com/@bellmar/is-cobol-holding-you-hostage-with-math-5498c0eb428b.
- Joshua Tauberer, Open Government Data: The Book (2014), https://opengovdata.io.
- Ben Frain, Enduring CSS (Birmingham, UK: Packt Publishing, 2017).
- Sam Newman, Monolith to Microservices (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2019).
- Alex Soble and Mike Gintz, “Rapid Implementation of Policy as Code,” 18F, May 12, 2020, https://18f.gsa.gov/2020/05/12/rapid-implementation-of-policy-as-code/.
- Jennifer Pahlka, “Delivery-Driven Policy: Policy Designed for the Digital Age,” Code for America, November 5, 2019, https://www.codeforamerica.org/news/delivery-driven-policy.
- Xun Wu et al., The Public Policy Primer (London: Routledge, 2010).
- Tom Critchlow, “Navigating Power & Status: How to Get Things Done inside Organizations by Understanding Power Potholes and Status Switching,” June 24, 2020, https://tomcritchlow.com/2020/06/24/navigating-power-status/.
- Josh Gee, “What I Learned in Two Years of Moving Government Forms Online,” Medium, February 22, 2018, https://medium.com/@jgee/what-i-learned-in-two-years-of-moving-government-forms-online-1edc4c2aa089.
- “Policy Basics: Introduction to the Federal Budget Process,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 2, 2020, https://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-introduction-to-the-federal-budget-process (Ch 4).
- Bruce A. Wallin, “Budget Processes, State,” Urban Institute, n.d. , https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/71026/1000518-Budget-Processes-State.PDF.
- “Public Budgets,” National League of Cities, n.d.,
Resources for Government That May Also Be Useful to Civic Technologists
- Mark Headd, How to Talk to Civic Hackers, https://www.civichacking.guide/. An online book for government folks who want to work with techies. It’s an interesting perspective to read in parallel with this book.
- Robin Carnahan, Randy Hart, and Waldo Jaquith, De-risking Custom Technology Projects: A Handbook for State Grantee Budgeting and Oversight (August 5, 2019), https://github.com/18F/technology-budgeting/blob/master/handbook.md. Gets into depth on procurement issues at the state level.