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

June 2016

Research Links (w24/16)

Papers/Findings Making All Voices Count this week reported on their recent Learning Event, in a document that collects some useful schematics and tools for thinking about civic tech programming, and also captured some of the practitioner thinking about what it all means. A certain scepticism and sense of let-down has been expressed by some observers, but this may have more to do with the way...

Apples, oranges and open data

Open Knowledge International recently asked for feedback on survey questions for the 2016 Open Data Index. This is great, and has produced a modest but likely useful discussion to  improve Index processes for national research, as well as the resulting data. But regardless of how much effort goes into fine tuning the survey questions, there’s a fundamental problem underlying the idea of an...

Research Links (w21-23/16)

jeez, long one. shouldn’t wait three weeks to put these up. Papers / Findings A lab experiment suggests that including participation mechanisms (particularly commenting) in design of regulatory schemes (agri-environmental in this case) can increase compliance (though this effect is short lived, and the authors suggest more participatory mechanisms might yield longer gains in compliance)...

Quick Note: Using the Rhetoric of Civic Tech

There’s a recurrent obsession with self-naming and differentiation in international thinking  about how technology can facilitate some kind of betterness (nice overviews here and here). Part of this is likely about fashion, funding and social prominence, but there’s also legitimate concerns about how our labels impact “the field”’s popular salience or ability to learn. For me, the greatest...

Can Millennials Save E-government?

Many analysts (including yours truly, in a book called “Government 2.0”) predicted that by 2016, digital government would already long be a reality. In practice, the “e-gov revolution” has been an exceedingly slow-moving one. Sure, technology has improved some processes, and scores of public services have moved online, but the public sector has hardly been transformed. What initial e-gov efforts...

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


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