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

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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

Absurdum

  • “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)

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

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