This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Code for All, a premier gathering for civic tech enthusiasts worldwide. The summit provided a unique platform to discuss, explore, and evaluate the impact of civic tech on a global scale. I had the honor of participating in a panel discussion on open-source technology and delivering a lightning talk on one of our community efforts, “Flood Light.”
The Open-Source Panel: More Than Just Hype
The panel discussion aimed to assess the true replicability of open-source software across civic tech. I was joined by experts like Olivia Vereha from Code for Romania and Xavier Frankline from Code for Africa. We discussed why open-source works, citing examples from organizations like Mozilla and civic tech projects like Decidim. The consensus was clear: open-source is not just a buzzword; it’s a viable approach for civic tech solutions.
Flood Light: A Community-Led Crisis Response
In 2022, Pakistan faced a catastrophic climate event that led to widespread devastation. In response, Code for Pakistan launched Flood Light, an initiative to create a comprehensive data platform for flood mapping. My colleague Mubassir Hayat and I shared how this effort successfully mapped over 1,500 relief camps and connected those in need with international donors and volunteers. You can watch the full lightning talk here.
Key Takeaways from Flood Light
We highlighted the transformative power of community-led initiatives in crisis response. The project was a quick solution developed overnight using Ushahidi, collecting over 2,000 data points through crowdsourcing. This data was then used by the government and aid organizations to provide relief to the affected people.
Other Highlights and Future Directions
The summit had several sessions on AI and civic tech, which resonated with our ongoing project, Legisbot. It was motivating to see that we are on the right track. I was particularly inspired by Olivia Vereha’s stories and look forward to networking more with like-minded organizations like Code for Romania.
The Code for All Summit 2023 was an enriching experience that left me motivated to continue our work at Code for Pakistan. The summit served as a reminder of the transformative power of technology when used for the greater good. As we move forward, our focus remains on empowering the community and creating a lasting impact.
Feel free to share, comment, and stay tuned for more updates on our projects and community efforts!