Civic Tech: An Asian Perspective

Friday, 28 January 2022, 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. on Zoom

There has been an emergence of initiatives that take advantage of information and communication technologies to serve civic purposes, collectively referred to as civic technologies (Civic Tech). This phenomenon has been met with a rising interest in academia, where Civic Tech has become an interdisciplinary field spanning across various disciplines such as social science, political science, and computer science. In this talk, Zhang first presents a review of 224 papers from the ACM Digital Library with a focus on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Human-Computer Interaction, the key fields supporting the building of Civic Tech. Through this review, Zhang aims to discuss the concepts, theories and general history of civic tech research. Next, Zhang introduces three cases of civic tech development in Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. Through the discussion about actors involved in the cases, Zhang makes suggestions about what participatory mechanisms may facilitate citizen’s engagement in civic tech design in Asian contexts.

WEIYU ZHANG is Associate Professor at the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore. Her research focuses on civic engagement and Information and Communication Technologies, with an emphasis on Asia. She is Director of the Civic Tech Lab ( and has led on multi-nation projects on youth engagement, online deliberation, and civic tech in Asia. Her current interest is to develop and examine civic tech applications to facilitate citizen deliberation on science topics such as climate change, gene-editing, and artificial intelligence.

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Organized by Centre for Media and Communication Research, School of Communication and Film