DNC Launches Project Ivy Tech Ecosystem

Tech Partner NGP VAN Releases Platform of APIs, Users, and Network Effects

 

Washington, DC – Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee launched Project Ivy, the fourth iteration of the Democratic Party’s investment in data and technology. The program builds on a decade of investments by the DNC and aims to give campaigns of all sizes the same tools that the Obama campaign built and so successfully utilized in 2012.


The DNC and key technology partner NGP VAN are launching a significant new innovation in Project Ivy’s program: a set of tools to allow developers and other technologists to build an ecosystem around the DNC’s voter file data and technology platform, VoteBuilder.

The DNC’s Developer Portal being launched today has two key elements:

  • A new set of APIs (a series of technical specifications that detail how software interacts) for the DNC and NGP VAN platforms that will be made available to developers.
  • An innovative ActionID login system that allows current users to seamlessly access new apps and tools created through the APIs.


The APIs are built on an easy-to-use RESTful architecture that allows campaigns and companies to pull and push information directly from VoteBuilder.  The ActionID login systems will allow the hundreds of thousands of existing users of the NGP VAN tools to login to other apps created by the others in the ecosystem, with one simple secure login that they can take from campaign to campaign.

The Portal is now live at http://developers.democrats.org.

“This new developers’ platform allows Democrats to build new apps more easily and nimbly, enabling a 360 degree view of voters and a campaign’s interactions with them across all channels.” said DNC CEO Amy Dacey.  “Simply put: our tools are helping candidates in 2014 while we’re laying the groundwork for the next generation of campaign technology in 2016 and beyond.”

“NGP VAN is focused on helping the DNC drive the innovation that will help Democrats maintain and build our technological edge,” said Stu Trevelyan, NGP VAN’s CEO.  “We’re honored that so many Democrats use our tools to elect progressive candidates up and down the ballot. The tools we’re building will enhance Democrats’ ability to connect directly with voters, where they are, and in the ways they get their information.”

This release advances Democrats’ capabilities on one of the key trends in political technology: giving state parties and campaigns the ability to speak directly and more efficiently with voters. This technology will improve Democrats’ addressability– giving campaigns the ability to connect with specific individuals through online and TV ads and traditional methods like phone calls and door knocks.

The DNC and NGP VAN have already seen success with the APIs in recent months.

  • The APIs are behind the recently released DNC Arbor Project to enhance efforts to register voters.
  • The just released version of MiniVAN, the iOS and Android app that powers mobile canvassing, was rebuilt using the APIs.
  • At a recent NGP VAN hackathon, in a few hours engineers built a new, free Open Virtual Phone Bank App which allows supporters to make calls to targeted voters without having to get a login to VAN.
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