How to Launch a Civic Tech Project (and Survive): Stories from Eastern Partnership Countries

Objective(s) of the session

Share the lessons learnt and first-hand recommendations for potential authors of civic tech solutions.

There has never been a more exciting time for tech enthusiasts than the last decade. Apple’s famous “There is an app for this” turned out to be a prophesy, when the young digital-native generation (yes, you!) demystified coding and web-design, and various ready-to-use design forms made web and mobile development affordable and non-exclusive. Hackathons, ideathons, development challenges, startup weekends, datathons, coding competitions spur thousands of new IT solutions every year, and a good part of them are designed to solve specific social problems, in other words, fall within so-called ‘civic tech’. But the hard truth is that maximum 1/3 of teams will continue working on their ideas after the event, and maximum 1/5 of these ideas will be launched. We have been working with civic tech projects in the Eastern Partnership countries for the past 6 years, and even though we do not have a never-failing winning formula (alas!), we will be happy to share our surmises and introduce you to some civic tech champions from the region.

Project in the frames of which the session was developed

EU-funded Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility


Iryna Velska

Iryna Velska is a professional graphic designer and a journalist who has been working with online media since 2005. She says she ‘has done everything except for coding’ and becomes a faddist when it comes to user-relevance and friendliness. Before joining the previous phase of the Project in 2017, she supervised and directly participated in the development of more than 10 online resources (and managed some of them): blogging platforms, companies’ and projects’ web-pages, news portals, internal staff portals, online media, and online catalogues. In her capacity as the Civic Tech Expert within the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project, she launched 1 more app and 2 websites, organized and co-delivered 5 civic tech development events, and supervised 15+ civic tech projects.