Papers and Findings
- Text analysis of Swiss media during national referenda on smoking bans finds that the use of evidence in political debates is rare, and usually used only to increase speakers’ credibility. Monitoring the activity of Swiss parliamentarians, meanwhile, is directly and positively affected by monitoring (explicitly via video recording parliamentary sessions) according to a recent paper, at least for legislators up for re-election.
- Meta-level analysis of the Quality of Government Data Set (26 countries) suggests that perceived corruption suppresses voter turnout (at least in countries with low- to mid-levels of corruption), and also has a useful review of previous literature and findings on the subject.
- A study of municipal voting in Brazil shows that e-voting increases voter turnout
(but primarily attracting men, and young and affluent ones at that).
- A literature review of ICT interventions in health sector governance (17 peer review articles and 17 grey lit reports) proposes a taxonomy of 15 programming modalities, and has some unsurprising conclusions (“More empirical studies are needed to measure concrete impacts, document mechanisms of action [and there is an] assumption that transparency alone will effect change; however responsive feedback mechanisms are also likely to be necessary”).
Commentary / Community
- LSE reposted Duncan Green’s August review of an InterAction report, to reflect on how acadmics and civil society should collaborate to get evidence used in policy. Two models for collaboration are proposed, one with civil society as the middle man, translating between policy and research worlds, and one “more radical” arrangement involving co-production to “merge” those worlds. Main takeaway: because trust is so important for policy uptake, “embedded gateways” can be smart (a kind of help desk in research institutions that matchmake expertise and demand). Green notes GSDRC is as close as the development sector comes to this.
- “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” So begins a Quartz short read on how drive towards publishing metrics are ruining research, with useful links. The insights re credibility and comparisons to journalism are relevant to TAI research.
- ICTworks has an excellent blogpost on how the gap between measurement to strengthen projects and measurement to satisfy donors: “every minute spent on a data reporting template meant a minute an expecting mother didn’t receive adequate care.”
- “This special issue of the UK journal Popular Music will focus on the intersection of popular music with ‘magic’, however authors may wish to define the term.” (link)