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Hackathons for Community Engagement and Public Education

Alameda County, CA
Program Year: 2019

Abstract:
In 2014, Alameda County updated its Data Sharing Initiative by vastly expanding information available through its online data portal, Data.acgov.org. The portal encourages residents to analyze public data and to use it in building web and mobile applications. Data.acgov.org now hosts more than 220 data sets, including crime reports, restaurant inspections, health data, district boundary maps, social services data and more. To raise awareness about these resources, and to elicit residents’ best ideas for improving local government services, Alameda County has hosted a series of public hackathons where residents working in teams leverage public data to create new apps and digital tools to serve the community. One AC Apps Challenge entry led the County to create its award-winning Open Budget website, which provides an easy-to-understand budget overview along with finer details about County priorities and expenditures. Alameda County also sponsored four employee-only hackathons to solicit ideas from front-line workers. One winning entry resulted in a new automated invoicing process that saves Alameda County an estimated $500,000 annually. Our Youth Leadership Academy and Citizens Academy programs, as well as at the first-ever countywide Homelessness Solutions Summit, have all featured hackathons to develop solutions to community challenges.

Contact:
Ms. Theresa S Rude
Administrative Analyst