The Tech4Good Field Guide


3 minute read

I wrote a Field Guide and I’m putting it out into the world in a few different formats, and just wanted to give a little heads-up if you or someone you know might find it useful. It’s a guide written not only for the international development or technology-oriented folks, but really anyone looking to use digital technologies with an explicit lens towards social empowerment — all skill and experience levels welcome here.

Why did I write this book…now?

The world’s seemed a bit haywire recently. But there are reasons to be hopeful through the struggles — solidarity and social justice in the face of systemic inequality, glimmers of hope on potential paths forward on addressing diasterous climate change, and an increased empthay and shared experience every human on the planet is affected by the global pandemic in some way. There are paths to doing better, to doing something meaningful, to doing something good.

Inside the Tech4Good Field Guide

It’s in this spirit of learning and growing from one another that I began assembling the pieces of the guide when I was teaching overseas — pulling together resources, links, digital services and the like that would help me with my day job, but also help me be a more productive teacher and mentor. Over time, these scraps of notes developed into journals then outlines then spreadsheets, then a collaborative website, and more recently, a series of blog posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), and now this.

The OpenTech4Good website

First, the OpenTech4Good website

The OpenTech4Good site (formerly the ICT4DGuide.org) is a fairly simple website with all sorts of information on organizations and resources — available for browsing (and updating!) I’ve updated things over the years with new links, with new submissions, and with a healthy amount of folks emailing. I’m happy to say I’ve done a little overhaul of this site as well, making it even easier to navigate, and to submit issues / pull requests to update these pages by anyone.

Tech4Good Resources on AirTable

I’ve been very pleased with the data table (the full-screen AirTable link shows it all, with filtering and sorting), which has its very own form to submit if you want to make it dead simple to help ensure I haven’t left off any important organization or resource.

The Tech4Good Field Guide

But that wasn’t enough — and I found that I still had more to say, but I needed a little more space with which to say it, and so the Field Guide was born. The Field Guide has a couple of additional sections, as well as a structure that makes it very easy to browse. With over 500 links to organizations, resources, products, service, platforms, and more — there are sure to be a few nuggest of gold in there that you didn’t know about.

Excerpt from the Tech4Good Field Guide

A tiny disclaimer

Note: this is where I put forward a disclaimer that the “tech4good” world is a sprawling, intersectional, large umbrella that contains multitudes — it’s impossible to know every single group and individual working in this space, and while I did my best to curate the list, I know that I will have inadvertently missed a few (maybe even yours!) Mea culpa — I’m just one person — let me know and we’ll build out our lists even more.

It’s been a few years in the making, but I’m very excited to launch it now — you can find it on Amazon as paperback or Kindle versions.

Tech4Good Logo The Tech4Good Logo — I did enjoy drawing this

I wanted to make the book available to everyone, in the spirit that it was written in as well, and so you can find the full book as a PDF on the book website.

I’d love to know what you think, and I’d very much appreciate it if you could spread the word to folks you think might benefit from it as well.

I couldn’t possibly end this without thanking the folks that helped review / provide feedback / and support me along the way — Gina, Sarah, Matt, Sandra, Nick, Henry, Annie, and Derek.