The power of civic tech: a conversation with Social Tech Trust

Last year, our founder, Libby Drew, spoke to Social Tech Trust about the potential of civic tech, particularly in light of the pandemic. In a context of climate instability and deepening social inequality, she shared how Radar has been using digital technology to amplify the voices and lived experiences of communities worldwide so that they have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. Here is a snippet of the conversation.

Find the full case study here (originally published Nov 2021).

How did you respond to the needs of your users during the pandemic?

As the risk increased and societies locked down, there was an urgent need to keep communities talking. It was essential that their voices were heard in a timely fashion by public audiences and institutions so national responses could be effective in tackling both entrenched and emerging crises alongside Covid-19…

…We used a range of channels to reach people where they were, including SMS, voice tools, messengers and chat apps, as well as accessible e-learning platforms and peer training roles…For societies to thrive, both the public and our institutions need to be well-informed and for that to happen, information systems need to be decolonised, democratised and equitable…

What’s next for Radar?

…We are determined that the challenges ahead are not used as an excuse for the same voices to dominate our narratives. We need a rich tapestry of stories that defy stigma and stereotypes, share stories beyond our blindspot and help to set roadmaps…Community reporting is one part of a wider movement to rebalance power…

This year, Radar turns 10 and, after a decade of experimenting with different models for community reporting, we are focused on consolidating this learning so it is accessible for anyone interested in community voice and its role in shifting the power. Sign up here to join the Radar Community and stay updated on our resources and work.