Methodical Snark

critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech
This is a blog about how the civic tech and accountability field measures its work and its impact. It’s based on a critical perspective, but tries to be more productive than conference snark. It’s an effort to highlight how much work is being done in silos across the academic-NGO divide, to de-mystify important methods and findings, and to call out research that is sloppy or unhelpful. Scroll for the blog roll, or check out the core content types:
WEEKLY RESEARCH ROUNDUP: findings, happenings, and absurdity in civic tech research. 
I read THIS FOR YOU: summaries for those with more interest than time. 
Mini Lit Reviews: when I wonder about something, I check what the research says, and write it up.

Latest stories

Short summary of OGP research on open gov and trust in Latin America

What is it?: Restoring Trust through Open Government: an analysis of open government initiatives across Latin American subnational cases (36 pg report presenting research findings from 9 cities, commissioned by OGP). Main Point: Online interaction is bringing municipal governments and publics closer together, building trust in government in the process. Where it’s coming from I read this as part...

2 week Roundup: civic space is good for trust, egov is bad for corruption, metrics for government culture change

This 2 week roundup has lots of evidence on monitoring to reduce bribery and SMS to increase voter information. There's comparative evidence on increasing political trust and decreasing corruption, plus excellent advances on understanding how to get evidence used in policy. Plus a review of open data measurement frameworks.

Roundup: fact checking works, radio boosts participation, but generally, government innovation is failing.

Civic tech research saw some exciting findings last week, including experimental work on factors affecting civic voice and representation across multiple country and municipal contexts. Also some useful research for advocating feedback within organizations, great research-driven resources for better advocacy and some deep deep weeds on merging human rights databases.

Roundup: pollution live cams, depressing findings, and the unicorn of Iceland’s crowdsourced constitution

Last week's research roundup has evidence on causes of citizen complaints and parliamentarian responsiveness, plus depressing research on popular trends in human rights advocacy and community driven development. But fear not, there's also frank and optimistic takes on social media, smart new methods for measuring active citizenship and an inspiring story from 18th century abolitionist activism.

Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech

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