Promise Tracker

Data Collection for Civic Action


Promise Tracker is a mobile phone-based data collection system that enables communities to monitor the performance of their local governments.

Using a simple web application, community groups can design a mobile phone-based survey, distribute the survey to community members’ phones, collect data using a mobile app, visualize it on a map and use the resulting data to advocate for change. Promise Tracker is designed to increase civic engagement and efficacy of community members who use it, giving them a path towards data-driven advocacy on local issues.

Latest news

workshop map

We have run workshops in 9 Brazilian cities to date to introduce civil society groups to the tool and launch data collection campaigns. See the map below for more information on workshops and issues monitored.




Design workshops

Throughout 2014, the Promise Tracker team collaborated with partner organizations in Brazil to conduct a series of workshops to guide the development and testing of the Promise Tracker tools. Working with Rede Nossa São Paulo in São Paulo and the Office of Strategic Priorities in Belo Horizonte, we gathered community leaders and participatory councillors to identify pressing local issues, develop data collection surveys, gather information in the community and present collected data back to key stakeholders.

Following the launch of the Promise Tracker tools in São Paulo in March 2015, the Center for Civic Media has conducted workshops in cities throughout Brazil to introduce civil society organizations to the tool, gather ongoing feedback on the platform and methodology, and train groups of trainers to multiply workshops in their regions. The Promise Tracker tools are under active iteration and we look forward to announcing our work on sensor integration in the upcoming months.


Promise Tracker is a project of the Center for Civic Media, a research group at the MIT Media Lab that works hand in hand with diverse communities to collaboratively create, design, deploy, and assess civic media tools and practices.
We are inventors of new technologies that support and foster civic engagement and political action, we are a hub for the study of these technologies, and we coordinate community-based design processes locally in the Boston area, across the United States, and around the world.