Community Fellowship

Code for America’s Community Fellowship program pairs community members with local governments to address inequities in service delivery
Group photo of the 2019 Code for America Community Fellows
The 2019 Code for America Community Fellows

About the Program

Code for America’s Community Fellowship is at the core of our work to transform people’s lives by making government work for everyone in the digital age, starting with those most marginalized. Since 2011, Code for America has worked with more than 100 government agencies on projects to break down barriers in meaningful ways, better serve communities, and transform how governments use technology.

The primary purpose of the Community Fellowship program is to resource and train community members with project-related lived experience and partner them with their local government to effectively address inequities in service delivery. For example, Fellows working on service delivery for those reentering society after incarceration may have personal experience in the criminal legal system. By resourcing and training those closest to the problem with the skills they need to make change in government, we can close the gaps in service delivery faster and with an eye towards justice.

The Program Team

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Focus Areas

Some areas we’ve explored
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Clean Water Access
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Housing Access
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Prison Industrial Complex
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Digital Divide
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Transportation Access
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Access to Public Services

Fellows will dedicate nine months to learning and leading on Code for America’s principles and practices. In partnership with local governments, our Fellowship teams will work to understand and meet people’s needs, use real-time user data, and iterate on solutions.

Across the nine-month cohort cycle, full-time Fellows will work alongside government partners and the program team. Here are some of the technical skills we’re looking for:

  • Developer
  • Designer
  • Product Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Activist/ Community Advocate/ Organizer
  • Artist/ Storyteller
  • Data Science
  • Educator
  • Hacker
  • Researcher

Additional supports and coaching include:

  • Weekly 1:1 with program team leadership, calls with Code for America support team staff, mentorship, and training opportunities within the organization.
  • Fellows can expect training in the following areas: stakeholder management, public speaking, change management, conflict resolution, user research, DEI, and more.

Government is the biggest lever for systemic change that will improve societal wellbeing. Today, it isn’t living up to that potential—but that doesn’t mean it can’t. The needs of the communities most affected by the problems government must help solve are not centered in the design and creation of government programs and services. That’s where Code for America Fellows can help.

Government partners will work closely with program staff to scope a project to improve service delivery to one of their marginalized communities. Local governments host three Code for America Fellows with project-related lived experience over the course of a nine-month engagement, following their lead towards developing equitable service delivery interventions.

We can expand what it means to be a public servant and inspire thousands both inside and outside of government to reimagine what’s possible when you build with, not for. Help us close the gaps in service delivery—better, faster, and fairly.

Stories from the fellowship

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Current Projects

Fort Collins, CO

Oakland, CA

Santa Barbara, CA

Apply to the Fellowship

The Code for America Fellowship program application is currently closed. If you would like to be notified when the next cohort cycle opens or want to reach the program staff, please contact the Fellowship team.

Interested in learning more about the Community Fellowship and ways to get involved? Contact the Fellowship team

Can you help us empower people with lived experience to make change in their local governments and communities?

Donate to support the work of the Fellowship program today!