Accountability Framework

Our Community Values Statement

Who are we?

The Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN) is a community of practice made up of practitioners, leaders, activists, technologists, researchers, and public servants with an interest and commitment to leveraging the nexus between technology and civic activism. CTIN supports this community towards the growth, development, and effective use of appropriate digital technologies and methodologies in public participation and activism, delivering public services, transparency and accountability, and connecting government and citizens. CTIN is based in South Africa which bears its primary footprint, but the project sees itself as part of an Africa-wide network and interest.

The Civic Tech Innovation Network has a Reference Group that is comprised of civic tech activists, leaders and scholars who have volunteered their time to help steer the network and serve as a point of reference and provide guidance for the Secretariat team. The reference group helps steer the network and serve as a point of reference and guidance

The Network was incubated at Wits University where its Secretariat continues to be hosted through grant funding support.

What do we seek to achieve?

  1. A growing community of practice that identifies and supports the common interests of its members
  2. A network that actively promotes the use of civic tech in governance processes to:
    • enhance public participation and activism;
    • deliver public services;
    • increase transparency and accountability in public affairs; and
    • connect government and citizens
  3. Increased awareness of the potential uses/good practice and potential harms of civic tech in South Africa and Africa
  4. An active contributor in selected thematic impact areas which respond to the times. For 2020/21, these are:
    • Urbanisation and cities
    • Amplifying excluded / underprivileged voices
    • Partnership with government
    • Threats to democracy

What do we believe?

CTIN is committed to a society that is more just, equitable, and sustainable. As such, CTIN members, staff, invited speakers and guests, and partners are expected to familiarise themselves with and abide by our core guiding principles.

Our CTIN Core Guiding Principles are:


1.Social justice

  • CTIN aims to prioritise and promote activities and civic tech innovations which encourage  diversity  and inclusion and decrease or eliminate inequity
  • CTIN seeks to promote innovations which focus on access, equity, rights, participation and advocacy

2. Diversity and Inclusion

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility are more than just glib terms for CTIN; they are core principles for how CTIN seeks to establish its strategy, structure and conduct. Therefore CTIN welcomes and wishes to consciously enable the participation of communities and individuals regardless of race, gender, religious belief, ability, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and more – as long as they share the common values espoused herein.

3. Thought Leadership based on lived experience

  • The CTIN seeks to learn from – and provide a  platform for – thought leaders and practitioners across diverse sectors, and to recognise our unique lived experiences embedded in Africa’s pre- and post-colonial contexts, and all that implies. We acknowledge that the personal is political.
  • Collectively, the network platform contributes to promoting common learning and learning agendas.

4. Adaptability to change

  • CTIN wishes to be a flexible, evolving organisation which can responsibly adjust its processes and programmes to circumstances when necessary, improvising to achieve its mission and purpose.

5. Alignment of strategic direction

  • The Secretariat team should strategically direct and prioritise the objectives of the network
  • The main activities of CTIN are directed to growing the network, generating relevant information and insights to members of the network and providing opportunities for them to meet and engage.
  • CTIN promises to showcase African civic tech innovations through its activities

6. Sparking real inclusion and innovation in African communities

  • CTIN recognises the talent and passion in African communities and aims to support innovators through its activities

7. Mutual accountability and clarity of organizational responsibility

  • Along with the CTIN Secretariat, the CTIN reference group and network members collectively, and as individual members, as well as other contributing partners, have distinct responsibilities for delivering on their respective obligations.

8. Individual and Collective commitment

  • All CTIN secretariat and reference group members are accountable individually and organizationally. This requires an individual and collective commitment to established accountabilities, and involves cooperation and collaboration. We seek to balance expectations and capacity.

9. Highest standards of personal integrity

  • CTIN holds its secretariat team, reference group members and community to organizational values, ethics and behavioural expectations such as
  • Respect
  • No form of bullying
  • No comments/statements which are offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, unlawful, fraudulent, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening, harassing, insulting or deemed confidential

10. Transparency and Openness

  • CTIN will make available reliable and timely information about existing conditions, decisions and actions relating to its activities, in an accessible, visible and understandable fashion, unless the information is deemed confidential.
  • The CTIN Secretariat holds itself accountable to the Reference Group and community, and will inform the Reference Group prior to making major changes to the network
  • The Reference Group commits to providing the Secretariat team with guidance when necessary, including in upholding community values by any CTIN roleplayers, community members or affiliates
  • CTIN aims to be a space for the community to present their ideas and learn from other community members.

11. Continuous learning and reporting

  • Feedback is provided and lessons are learned from continuous review and evaluation of the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of programmes, and the achievement of results to improve and strengthen performance.

This Accountability Framework is the product of thinking and workshopping within the CTIN Reference Group in May 2020. We anticipate that it will be a living document based on feedback and learning along the way. As such, we welcome the community to submit any questions, comments or improvements to this document to the Secretariat. Proposed amendments will be tabled  / reviewed / decided upon through the Reference Group at its regular meetings.

The Civic Tech Innovation Network has a Reference Group that is comprised of civic tech activists, leaders and scholars who have volunteered their time to help steer the network and serve as a point of reference and provide guidance for the Secretariat team. The reference group helps steer the network and serve as a point of reference and guidance