The open mode of thinking, acting and being has been associated with liberating, participatory and collaborative arrangements that have prompted us to redefine how research, science, innovation and citizenship are to be conceived. In an era where much is said about the ‘open society’ and open innovation, looking at the interplay between involvement, technology and social good becomes of particular importance and interest. Having employed an action research approach, we examine how actors have enacted an open technology at the local governance level in a town in Zambia. Our interest is in how the different groups of local people have co-created the technology through multiple negotiations, organizational forms and institutional arrangements. Being theoretically inspired by the ‘technology enactment framework’, we propose an approach for framing the design of participatory technology projects at the local governance level, with implications for both theory and practice.