Building new technology to solve public problems

Our Projects try to answer the questions that stand between today and more effective and legitimate governance tomorrow

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Smarter Governance Through


How to open up government data for solving problems?

Open Data Demand

How can you leverage government data to create a knowledge base for solving problems?

Open Data in Developing Economies

What is the social and economic value of open data for developing economies?

Open Data's Impact

What are the global impacts of open data?

Data-Driven Criminal Justice

How can data be used to increase public safety and reduce incarceration?

Data Collaboratives: How to create public value by exchanging data across sectors?

DataCollaboratives .org

Creating Public Value by Exchanging Data

Gender and Urban Mobility in Chile

How can we leverage data collaboratives to make urban transportation planning more gender-inclusive?

Data Stewards Network

How can the potential value of privately held data be unlocked and used for public good?

Data Responsibility

How can privately held data be shared responsibly for social good through cross sector collaboration?

Open Data 500 Global Network

How to make open government data more relevant, accessible, and actionable?

How to create an inter-disciplinary knowledge base of governance innovation?

Open Governance Research Exchange (OGRX)

How to make accessible insights on solving public problems?

The MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance

How can we facilitate the exchange of thought and research around open government?

How to leverage distributed ledger technologies to improve people's lives?

Blockchain and Extractives Governance

How Might Blockchain Technologies Impact the Governance of Natural Resource Extraction?

Blockchange: Blockchain Technology for Social Change

How can we use blockchain technology for social good?

Smarter Governance Through

People-led innovation

How do we build legitimacy and grow capacity by empowering local experts to solve public problems?

City Challenges

City Challenges is a process to help cities and their communities collaborate to develop innovative and implementable solutions to pressing urban problems.

City Challenges - San Pedro Garza García

12-month pilot which took place in the Municipality of San Pedro Garza García, Mexico, designed to evaluate a replicable process for Latin American cities to solve social problems more quickly and effectively.

CrowdLaw: What is tech-enabled civic engagement in law and policymaking?


Develop recommendations on how to use crowdlaw to improve the quality of lawmaking. We want to explore when and under what circumstances engagement can result in lawmaking that is either more legitimate, more effective or both.

CrowdLaw Playbook

GovLab received a grant from The Democracy Fund to study citizen engagement for Congress and create a Crowdlaw Playbook for Congress and teach citizen engagement techniques to Members.

Open Policymaking

Open Policymaking: making more effective and legitimate policy by tapping collective intelligence

Using Collective Intelligence to Solve Public Problems

How can institutions use technology to solve problems with groups?

Smarter Crowdsourcing: How do we curate and tap global expertise to develop implementable solutions to intractable problems?

Smarter Crowdsourcing Anti Corruption

Worked with the Mexican government, civil society and over 100 global experts in the summer of 2017 to devise solutions to the problem of corruption in Mexico.

Smarter Crowdsourcing Zika

Explored innovative and practical ways to address the causes of mosquito-borne diseases in 4 Latin American countries in 2016.

Smarter Crowdsourcing Cotopaxi

How can targeted crowdsourcing help the City of Quito, Ecuador get smarter about how to prepare for a likely volcano eruption?

100 Questions Initiative

Unless we define the questions well to unlock the potential of data and data science, how can we provide answers that matter?

Public Entrepreneurship: How can we enable the public and government officials to equip themselves with the skillset and mindset needed to solve complex public problems?

Solving Public Problems with Data

Solving Public Problems with Data examines how data can be used to improve decision-making and problem solving in the public sector through a series of online lectures by leading experts from the Governance Lab.

ICMA Innovation Skills Survey

Beth Simone Noveck is leading a research project with an aim to measure current knowledge and use of innovative skills by local government leaders in the United States.

Innovation Skills Accelerator

A free, online program to train public entrepreneurs to use innovative methods, including design thinking, evidence-based decisionmaking and collective intelligence, to solve public problems.

Open Justice

A comprehensive 10-module course in Spanish and English to train public officials on how to use new technologies to improve the judicial system.

Data Labs

How can we leverage administrative data to improve social sector services and programs?

The GovLab Public Projects Canvas

How to catalyze more governance innovators and policy entrepreneurs?

Smarter State Case Studies

How could public decision-making improve if institutions knew how to leverage citizens’ and civil servants’ expertise?

The GovLab Academy

How to empower civic & policy entrepreneurs to develop impactful real-word projects?



Open Grantmaking

Improving the Effectiveness and Legitimacy of Government Grant Funding

Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data

How to obtain more usable data about the nonprofit sector and whether open data can improve the performance of nonprofits

OrgPedia - Crowdsourcing and Impact Modeling

How can crowdsourcing and open data be used to gain better information about companies?

Data Collaboratives to Improve Children’s Lives

How to leverage cross-sector data-sharing to improve the lives of children?


How can we give decision-makers the information necessary to develop impactful crowdsourcing initiatives?

Peer to Patent

Can crowdsourcing improve the quality of patent applications?

NHS - Open Data

How to begin implementing and measuring the impact of open data in healthcare

NHS Public Data Science Network

How to connect a public institution to data science expertise inside and outside the institution

FDA Profiles

Can targeting opportunities to participate in regulatory reviews of medical devices based on skills and experience improve efficacy?


How can universities tap into the knowledge and skills that exist in their diverse communities?

The Potential of Social Media Intelligence to Improve People’s Lives

How can we leverage private social media data for public good?

NETmundial Solutions Map

How to develop an open map of the field of Internet Governance through crowdsourcing?

Network of Innovators

Can we accelerate innovation in government by making expertise of individuals searchable?


How can Congressional oversight processes be made more efficient and transparent?

Docker for Data

How to make open data accessible & usable?