Open data and open government demand more than datasets. Cataloging and making datasets available for download is a good thing. But it is only the first thing on the path to citizen engagement and involvement. Making data effective requires that we explain what the data means and measures, while making it easy to make connections and understand the information in context.

Dynamic open data is an enabler of citizen engagement and understanding. The rationale for open data and government is bolstered when citizens and stakeholders understand what the data means, can select what is meaningful to them, and have mechanisms for contributing back — this is what makes data dynamic.

But open data has to take a back seat to basic services in the budgets of local government and the organizations that support them. If open data and citizen engagement are to become integral parts of community services, they must be achieved within tight budget constraints. Approaches that are cheaper to set up and cheaper to maintain are the only choice for an open data initiative.

The Civic Dynamics Platform (CDP) is a proven, open-source, turnkey software framework for managing and publishing open, community data. CDP combines best-of-class open-source software components with open-source documentation. Our open-source implementation methodologies and tools empower local governments and related organizations to manage dynamic open data portals on their own.

The platform has its own content management system and can optionally be customized to create a Web or mobile interface of your choosing or to capture the look-and-feel of existing portals. This flexibility is due to CDP's tight integration with Drupal 7 and our point-and-click theming and set-up tools. You can operate CDP on its own or combine it with other local government Web portal uses.

The basic scope of CDP also works as an effective front-end to community indicator systems or integrated analytical frameworks, proven in the domains of sustainability, economic development, and community involvement.

Check out the other pages on this site to learn more. Or, better still, contact us for an in-depth discussion of your needs.