Thanks Chris for the shout out. DemocracyLab is a platform connecting skilled volunteers to technology projects that advance the public good. It has many similarities to Laddr and the work of Code for SF. The platform itself can be seen at https://www.democracylab.org. The projects listed currently are almost all in Seattle. We’re looking to prove our concept there before considering expanding to other geographies.
We did a bunch of interviews last year with project leaders and volunteers. The big insights that we drew were that for project leaders, onboarding new volunteers can be inefficient and the costs often exceed the benefits. An insight from volunteers was that projects are often too disorganized for volunteers to contribute to effectively. We’ve taken these insights into account in the design of our platform, nudging projects to be as transparent and well-organized as possible so that volunteers can dig deeply into a project before reaching out to the project leader. By doing so we believe we’ll reduce the cost of onboarding for both parties resulting in more effective volunteer engagement.
The link Chris provided above includes a diagram describing our long-term product vision, which includes connecting other stakeholders in the civic tech ecosystem to create an efficient marketplace for civic tech.
We also are eating our own dogfood, and have articulated our project’s volunteer needs here: https://www.democracylab.org/index/?section=AboutProject&id=1
I’m happy to discuss this further with anyone who’s interested!