Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Civic Data Challenge winners make data useful to field of civic health

Sept. 14, 2012, 9:28 a.m., Posted by David Smith

Today live from its Annual Conference, the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is celebrating the winners of the Civic Data Challenge. David B. Smith, NCoC’s executive director, blogs about the challenge and its winners.

We have used civic health data for years to understand civic life in communities across the country, and to take an evidence-based approach to inform policies, programs, and initiatives that advance civic engagement.

This year, through the Civic Data Challenge, and along with our partners at Knight Foundation, we decided to make this trove of community insight even more valuable and accessible to decision makers and the public. The goal of the challenge was to turn the raw data of “civic health" into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive. Our hope was that in doing so we could bring new eyes, new minds, new findings and new skill sets to the field of civic health.

Today, we are honored to announce the winners of the challenge at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship and to say that our hope was met with amazing enthusiasm, energy and response. More than 170 members joined the challenge community, and our team of outstanding judges reviewed entries that came in from more than 60 participants. Winning teams spanned the country, representing communities from San Francisco to Philadelphia, and Los Angeles to Burlington, Vermont. Participants included undergraduate students and nonprofit leaders, financial analysts and graphic designers, coders and even an astrophysicist. And they all engaged with civic data to bring its implications to life in new and powerful ways.

Eager to know what they came up with? First place winners include:

Additional information about the winning entries, including second place awardees and honorable mentions, are available.

Today’s conference, in addition to celebrating the Civic Data Challenge winners, will discuss  new research about the connection between civic health and employment. It will be livestreamed from 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET. We will include questions from our Twitter followers as part of the conference so please join the conversation using #NCoC.

Related: “New Study: better civic health means lower unemployment" and "Visualizing civic data to make the case for civic health."