Functional Model of Civic Intelligence

civic intelligence functional model graphic
(Graphic generated by Thomas Herrman using the SeeMe system.)

The functional model is divided into two main components, an internal component and an external component. The internal component corresponds to the organization itself and the external component corresponds to "outside", the environment that the organization exists within. In the "middle" of the interior (the organization itself) another component exists -- the "core." The core corresponds to the "mental model" of the organization.

The "mental model" contains the knowledge, formal and informal, tacit and explicit, human- and artifact-based that guides the thinking and actions of the organization. The functionality expressed in this model is a result of the interactions between these three components, all of which are expected to change over time.

We have identified four primary means through which the internal component interacts with the external world.

Monitoring. This describes how the organization acquires new relevant information non-intrusively.

Discussion and deliberation. This describes how organizations (including "virtual" organizations like public policy networks) discuss issues and determine common agendas, "issue frames" (Keck and Sikkink, 1998) and action plans.

Engagement. This is how the organization attempts to make changes in the world. This can be done with varying degrees of cooperation and combativeness

Resource transfer. This describes how resources (volunteers, money, e.g.) are acquired from outside.

We have identified four primary means through which the core component interacts with the internal world.

Interpretation of new information. This describes how new information is considered and how it ultimately becomes (or doesn't become) part of the core. New information can also be information about the organization.

Maintaining model (includes resource management). This describes how the core is consciously and unconsciously kept intact over time.

Planning and plan execution. This basically describes how a campaign is initiated, carried out, and monitored.

Modification of core model. This is basically a reflective exercise where the core itself is examined by participants in the organization and modified.

Note that these eight interaction forms take place simultaneously and non-autonomously.