Making civic health data useful to help improve communities

Communities / Article

David B. Smith, executive director of the National Conference on Citizenship, writes about the launch of its Civic Data Challenge today in San Francisco, which is supported by Knight Foundation. 

Today, the National Conference on Citizenship is excited to launch the Civic Data Challenge. The challenge turns the raw data of “civic health” into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive.

We believes that data is essential to understanding how our communities work and uncovering ways to motivate greater participation. Together with our partners, we have collected and used civic health data for years. This year, we’re thrilled to join forces with Knight Foundation to explore how community engagement and attachment help build thriving communities.

We are also thrilled to have an opportunity to make this trove of community insight even more valuable and accessible to decision makers and the public. The Civic Data Challenge will bring new eyes, new minds, new findings, and new skill sets to the field of civic health.

How: Challenge participants will be provided civic health data, as well as data on health, safety, education, and the economy.  Participants will analyze the data, identify connections and correlations, and create visual representations and interactive products to showcase their findings. These may include infographics, apps, animations, videos, or other innovations.

When: The challenge is launching today, April 3, at the Data 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. It’s being webcast, so tune in at 2:30 Pacific (5:30pm Eastern) to watch the official launch!

The challenge will run through July 29, and winners will be announced at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship on Sep. 14 in Philadelphia.

Where: For more information and to join the challenge, visit