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

Roundup: the impact of election-tech, 5 years of open data, and RCT threats to children


Findings: tech and elections

Comparative research indicates that SMS is the most effective messaging platform for voter mobilization, while Brazilian  research shows a that e-voting has had dramatic effects on both mobilization and enfranchisement. Meanwhile, a US survey suggests that competent poll-workers boost voter confidence that votes would be counted.  Well, yeah.

A global poll by the pew center (41,953 respondents in 38 countries)  finds broad support for direct democracy across countries, but only “shallow support” for representative democracy.

Case studies

Need lots of chapters? Check out Government 3.0, which has some on blockchain, social media participation, pro-transparency arguments and more; or these 18 country case studies on how public debate and information shape natural resource management.

Need niches? Check out Twitter activism and protest by college football players, and a survey of obstacles and needs in an EU open data collaboration project.

Need some optimism? There’s lot’s on using tech to reduce corruption in public funds management in the DRC, and how e-government seems to be making *everything* better in Korea. Plus, there’s a new 54 pg report summarizing 5 years of World Bank support to open data, arguing for contributions to peaceful transition of power in Burkina Faso, strong transit policy in the Philippines, and the importance of strong collaborations with NSOs.

Community and commentary

In other news:

@OpenEvidence has landed funds to develop and pilot a “computer-based model that can assess the impacts of ICT-enabled social innovation initiatives promoting social investment in the EU.” Whoa.

Rutgers is hard pushing an infographic on how social media is changing public administration. Besides being charmingly 2010, it’s chock full of specific numbers and phrases like “studies have shown” without clearly drawing on any specific piece of research. Ten sources do not an evidence-based argument make.

The OGP has a blogpost drawing loose conclusions from research on participatory budgeting, without linking to or systematically describing that research. Errrg.

OKFN released an enigmatic blogpost about the future of the Global Open Data Index, suggesting a coming focus on GODI use cases and (a single?) regional index. There’s been a lot of methodological hubbub about what it’s capable of measuring, and questions about redundancy and duplication with the Open Data Barometer. This post doesn’t respond to these criticisms, but suggests that they’ve been heard.

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