Where we work
Commit Global intends to operate from 5 Regional Hubs (offices) in order to be able to connect closely with both tech for social good makers and civil society organizations on the ground, harvesting both tools and needs and deploying the necessary support to enhance their work.
Moreover, the regional hubs are the force behind the scaling effort, making sure critical Digital Infrastructure gets to all those that need it, no matter their geography.
The Civic Lab
In addition, Commit Global operates a Civic Lab dedicated to testing different pieces of the Civic Infrastructure. Romania is hosting the Civic Lab, built on the former structure of Code for Romania, the largest current builder and maintainer in the tech for social good space and one of the most prolific reusers. Romania is well known as a testing ground for global social programmes as it is a country in the middle in terms of indicators and manifestation of the global challenges. Its proximity to 4 geographies and the lack of political impediments are also important assets.
Each Topical Task Force is composed of:
an operational team mandated with continuous stakeholder management, planning and monitoring
an interdisciplinary innovation team made up of subject matter experts, UX architects and creative technologists mandated with continuously assessing the field and designing the right digital response for each situation, through co-creation and strategic design
an engineering team mandated with the technical maintenance of the digital tools integrated in the topical ecosystem and implementation of custom digital response architectures.
The Regional Hubs are mandated with:
supporting the field work of the Topical Task Forces
harvesting needs and stakeholder mapping
disseminating and promoting the use of the Civic Infrastructure
The two types of teams, the Topical Task Forces and the regional Hubs have a continuous horizontal interaction feeding each other information. Out of this relationship many important insights that continuously inform the strategy of the organization.
It is our deep conviction that no technology decision should be taken before we have a well rounded understanding of the realities on the ground. That is why the backbone of the process is a continuous research endeavor on the 6 covered topics, based on our tested Civic Labs methodology. Our Task Force Innovation Teams spend extensive time on the ground engaging directly with the affected populations as well as with stakeholders and experts around the world in order to map and validate the pain points. In this way, through triangulation we will get a clear understanding of the main causes and manifestations of the problem at hand as well as how these global challenges manifest in local contexts. These findings ensure that any digital response will be properly designed to meet these challenges.
Auditing the existing digital tools developed by the open source makers is an essential step. Following a robust set of criteria the digital tools curation process takes into account not just the tech, but especially the effectiveness and flexibility the tool has in responding to identified needs. Finding and improving on the best tools possible allows us to start solving global issues from a higher ground, improving on already performant instruments, growing their potential once they are connected to the other building blocks of the civic infrastructure.
Every open source digital tool that is part of the Civic Infrastructure has to be brought to all accessibility, privacy, security and usability standards. From simple actions such as multilingual support up to integration with assistive software the tools have to be inclusive and accessible for users across the globe in order to unlock their potential. Moreover, proper international documentation will be written for each tool ensuring continuity and accountability for the written code. Adding to this, the different tools will have to be integrated and connected in order to build the Civic Infrastructure. This translates into a common user experience and into seamless navigation through all of the tools ensuring ease of access and a common baseline in functionality for every unique configuration of implemented solutions.
Some of the tools that will be added to the Civic Infrastructure will lack certain necessary functionalities or proper ways of integrating with the other building blocks. Likewise, in some cases there will be no digital tool responding to a critical mapped need. In both cases our Task Force Innovation Teams will engage with relevant stakeholders and with makers with expertise from around the world to spearhead a global co-creation process to develop these missing links, functionalities or tools.
Taking the burden of maintenance off the maker's shoulders also includes providing and managing hosting services for the digital tools that become part of the Civic Infrastructure. This ensures real time integration, continuity, safety, consistency and ease of deployment for the Civic Infrastructure while relieving a very high financial cost of the makers communities and organizations.
Maintenance is more than solution availability. Optimizations, security and code updates, data and privacy assessments and a lot of work around making sure that at any moment, all the tools are up to speed and availability to the global community of users or to be (re)deployed in a matter of hours should the need arise. Creating a common foundation, configured at the highest standards, always making use of the latest technology will also contribute to the resilience of the Civic Infrastructure.
The Regional Hubs map the CSOs, big and small, that can benefit from the Civic Infrastructure and will onboard them as users. We believe that the topic of tech for social good should breach the walls of the rooms where only technologists convene and should be discussed and pursued together with the global community of practitioners. That is why in addition to the day to day support we offer CSOs we will also organize an annual summit (each year hosted by a different Hub/region) where CSOs from around the world will convene around the use of the Civic Infrastructure in pursuing their mission.
We know that having access to the Civic Infrastructure is only the first necessary step to ensure impact. CSOs that use the Civic Infrastructure will have to actively and consistently grow their digital capacity and digital understanding and learn how to better communicate online. We know this is a long term process and we are ready to tackle it strategically. That is why we decided to focus on Civil Society Support as the first topic as we understand that equipping CSOs with better internal tools and mechanics is the precondition to better civil society action on the humanitarian, climate or democracy fields. Adding to this, each Regional Hub has personnel dedicated to actively assist CSOs in developing their digital capacity. Moreover, yearly regional assessments of the digital capacity of CSOs will be undertaken and published informing our strategies on the topic as well the actions of similar organizations.
Find out more
Discover our story and our mission to maintain the critical Civic Infrastructure design and developed by civic tech makers, in order to provide support for civil society organisations and vulnerable populations around the world.