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How do developer communities fit into the open source/open data ecosystem we are creating?


Hi all, just had a brief discussion about the role of developer communities with @pjppauwels. We would like to hear from you how you would define the common ground and collaboration potential between SCORE and developer communities / developer initiatives.

This is included in our general ‘ecosystem’ objective (number 2): Create an ecosystem with cities, research institutions and developer communities for smart public service delivery innovation.

In Belgium we have indeed links with many such initiatives, Open Knowledge Belgium, AppsForGhent, Civic Lab Ghent, to name a few.

For cities and research institutions it seems obvious “what is in it” for them to build further, use SCORE components or even co-develop with SCORE. But what about developer communities / developer initiatives? In which ways will the solutions or their components be useful/reusable/relevant for them, given they are typically not working on innovating local governments’ public service delivery?

Curious about your ideas on this.


I feel like this is a question to ask developers!

But my two-cents would be about how to make government development more interesting and participatory.

Ie. setting a inspiring goal/mission everyone can identify with, using principles of speculative design to give people a creative challenge, having some outreach to communities about this, and then giving a portal (community?) where they can come get involved in fixing up their city/governments.

So like the ‘code for’ model, but then more systemic and sustained over time. perhaps even with bounties instead of regular procurement?

Secondly, would be interesting to review existing examples where developers and gov find common ground. Drupal?


Alright! Who’s setting up the Google form? And is anyone within the current working groups working together with Open Source developer groups (not as a subcontractor)?

We’ve been working with Open Source / Open Data enthusiasts and volunteers in Ghent since the start of Apps for Ghent. I like your reference to the Code for model, but do take in mind that Open Source devs often do this in their scarce free time, and often the good ones are overburdened with combining day job dev stuff, having a life and combining that with Open Source development on code bases they trust and love.

Often they work in specific field or themes and are not interested in anything else. And that’s a good thing, the focus enables them to keep their repo’s up to date and sustains a group of active members. I feel our current batch of proposed working groups is not aligned to what the Open Source communities and research facilities are working on, but is rather based on city administration needs. Sometimes there is overlap, but that doesn’t imply buy-in. So I see giving input and recommendation happening easily, but active development and contributions are another thing.

If enabling research institutions and developer communities is one of the main objectives, we should take into account the projects and Open Source repo’s they are working on in the common challenges phase, before thinking about solutions. Or a way to incentivise them to work with us either way, eg. money. But afaik we don’t have a meta funding budget to invite them to co-develop the solution. Or maybe think about open calls for open source solutions within the working groups to make sure we use Open Source devs codebases and have cross pollination in that way.

Just to close off: I love this objective, I just not sure how this fits in the overall flow of the SCORE project. I think D1.1, 3.1 and 4.5-4.9 should show where external partners can plug-in, and how that relation works.


Solid points.

Perhaps our open source community manager @Boris can think about the dev community management side of things.

I see procurement as a key systemic enabler here - we can help the SCORE partners without their own developers to ‘procure’ (ie deploy, adapt, upgrade) open source solutions (if/when they want) providing new to resources to open source communities.

Besides, if we did our homework correctly then the challenges we are addressing in SCORE are a political priority for the respective partners involved - meaning the cities should be willing to/have budgets available or earmarked for these.

On top of this, the ‘meta funding’, EU has just earmarked €1.3 billion to be spent starting on 2020 to support the digital transformation of public administrations, with an eye on supporting infrastructure, deployment and capacity. Perhaps something we can start thinking about. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4043_en.htm (thank you @brynskov for sharing! perhaps something to pick up in WP6?)