Updated on August 25, 2018


Created on June 29, 2017

Code for America

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Code for America is an organization that leverages a network of collaborators and volunteers to develop software to strengthen the public sector for citizens

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Product Description

Code for America is a non-political organization founded in 2009 that leverages a network of collaborators and volunteers to develop software, design related technologies, and share open-source solutions to strengthen the public sector for citizens. Code for America shares software and apps and helps communities and government institutions implement new technologies and improve performance within their organizations or communities.

Code for America contains five programs that help governments:

– The Brigade: local groups of civic/ethical hackers and other community volunteers. They have meetings regularly to support the technology, design, and open data efforts of their local governments. more than 5,000 people in the US are involved in a local Brigade.

– The Fellowship program: small teams of developers and designers that engage with a city, county or state government for a year, for building open source apps and helping spread awareness of how contemporary technology works among the government workforce and leadership.

– The Accelerator: provides seed funding, office space, and mentorship to civic startups.

– A Peer Network: to enhance communication and collaboration for innovators in local government.

– Code for All is a side organization, part of Code for America, that includes similar efforts outside the US, particularly Brigades and fellowship programs in countries around the world.

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Code for America has government partnerships with more than 100 local government across the U.S. including Albuquerque, NM, Anchorage, AK, Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, City and County of San Francisco, CA, Denver, CO, Detroit, MI, Honolulu, HI, Indianapolis, IN, Kansas City, MO, Miami-Dade County, FL, New Orleans, LA, New York, NY, Oakland, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Puerto Rico, San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, West Sacramento, CA

Manufacturing/Building Method

Code for America is a site developed over HTML. Solutions published on their GitHub site include JavaScript, Ruby, Python, CSS and HTML languages.

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Users can access Code for America with basic internet service. There is also a GitHub site with different tools and apps available for download and implementation.

Distributions to Date Status

Code for America has grown from a single city based initiative in 2009 to a worldwide network of 185 active brigades worldwide that work with the same philosophy of sharing and contributing open-source ICT solutions to strengthen and modernize local and national governments. Code for America has government partnerships with more than 100 local government across the U.S.

Design Specifications

Code for America platform is a web portal built with standard HTML development. Apps and software available in the GitHub site are built in many different languages and based on different databases.

Technical Support

The platform has a How-to section which contains information on relevant subjects such as "how governments analyze and buy the technology needed to deliver digital services", "strategies to discover what the people who use your digital services want and give it to them" or "how to build inclusive, transparent and interactive community participation in the 21st century" and others are discussed. Each solution published on their GitHub site has its own technical support section too.

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters


Vetted Performance Status




Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

  1. Johnson, P. and Robinson, P. (2014), Civic Hackathon: Procurement or Civic Engagement?. Review of Policy Research, 31: 349-357. doi:10.1111/ropr.12074
  2. Esteve Almirall, Melissa Lee, Ann Majchrzak, Open innovation requires integrated competition-community ecosystems: Lessons learned from civic open innovation, Business Horizons, Volume 57, Issue 3, 2014,Pages 391-400, ISSN 0007-6813
  3. Maxat Kassen, A promising phenomenon of open data: A case study of the Chicago open data project, Government Information Quarterly, Volume 30, Issue 4, 2013, Pages 508-513, ISSN 0740-624X

Compliance with regulations


Other Information

There is available a Code for America YouTube channel with informative videos and footage from various summits. According to the Washington post, Code for America is the technology world’s equivalent of the Peace Corps or Teach for America.

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