The Citizen Development Lab was established with a view to supporting organisations to research improved approaches to sustain digital transformations through the rapid-cycle innovation it enables. There is growing evidence that Citizen Development can have a profound impact on organisations’ operational efficiency and agility. By empowering people to solve problems, we can also scale transformations more effectively and efficiently. We aim to investigate how organisations have adopted citizen development and current efforts to assess its impact on digital transformation initiatives.​


Digital transformation has become a core priority for CEOs in recent years. But just as the pandemic accelerated the need for change through digital transformation, it laid bare the massive global shortage of skilled software developers needed to deliver and operationalise transformations.

Against this backdrop, we are witnessing a new method across the business world of delivering low-code development to accelerate and expand digital transformation called “citizen development”. This method hides the sophistication and complexity of coding but empowers subject matter experts to design, develop, and deploy applications into production as though they were full-on, experienced coders, i.e. low-code or no-code applications. This approach leverages recent advances in technologies such as web technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to hide code complexity while delivering on code functionality.

Citizen development empowers individuals within organisations to create and deliver on opportunities for change and eliminate inefficient processes. Organisations are creating new hyper-agile operating models that enable non-IT developers to create applications in response to business opportunities without dependency on core IT developers.

The Citizen Development Lab was established at NUI Galway in response to the growing demand for research support and guidance in industry and academia to lead, experiment, and report on new initiatives in citizen development. We are particularly interested in carrying out research on the adoption of Citizen Development within organisations, sustaining digital transformations, and assessing the return-on-investment of new practices.

Funded by

The Citizen Development Lab secured start-up funding from NUI Galway’s Strategic Fund.

For more information

Dr Noel Carroll (