- Social media activism is stressful– At least in Pakistan, according to a recent survey (N=237, convenience sample) which found significant correlations between stress levels and political activism on social media.
- Users of Greece’s national transparency and anti-corruption website say they trust government more since the website was established (web survey n=130, availability sampling)
- Americans are pretty good at knowing when politicians lie, independent of partisan cues or the polarizing effect of individuals, though what they do with that information is a different story. This according to an experiment using an original statement rating task
- Tweet analysis suggests that negative (Baltimore) police interactions increase individuals’ likelihood to participate in protests.
- Not quite Tech: an experiment in DRC found that increased taxation leads to increases in political participation
- Institutionalizing Open Government– Not quite research, this report from @opendatacharter and @ODIHQ was perhaps the most important thing in civic tech research last week. It documents experiences from four open govt focal points prepping for national elections (Philippines, France, USA, Kenya), describing in-house strategies for institutionalization and sustainability in the face of political transition. The stories are compelling and provoke a number of important questions for designing open gov and civic tech initiatives. The piece includes a synthesis chapter that identifies 3 key govt strategies: de-politicizing and institutionalizing policy, broadening ownership, and delivering results that resonate. I’ll come back to this in a separate post if time allows.
- How open data both exposes and replicates offline discriminatory access for people with disabilities, via pubic washrooms in Vancouver
- A new book, Media in the Middle East, has chapters on social media activism in Iran, Assad’s “electronic war,” and taking stock on the Arab spring
- Arab Women’s Activism and Socio-Political Transformation, on the other hand, is ungated, and though it only has one chapter on digital (social media in Tunisia) looks like a much more comprehensive and nuanced read.
- Digital NGO diplomacy in South Korea
- The Ethics of Transnational Feminist Research and Activism: An Argument for a More Comprehensive View
Making civic tech research useful: @thomwithoutanh blogs about making MAVC research outputs useful to the people who need them, and the research on how people read research (spoiler, the don’t really) that led to the creation of a micro site: https://researchfindings.tech/. Good thinking, hope we can see a follow-up blogpost in a year with transparent analytics on the microsite, and thoughts on how to improve.
GODI lumbers on. @okfn is blogging about use cases for the Global Open Data Index in the face of its still uncertain future. Last week saw a description of four ways the GODI survey has been customized for specific projects and an intimation that @okfn could host a custom installation for you too. @DanLammerhirt blogged about how water advocates see the GODI, noting a lack of perceived impact and a need to refine the survey (and underlying theory of change). Super interesting stuff, but what does it mean? No clear indication yet as to where GODI is going, or what support OKFN will provide to users in the future.
- @onthinktanks reflects on Latin American Evidence Week: noting that there’s a lack of data, and more importantly, a lack of the right kind of data, and that policy makers turn too often to project evaluations, when they need other kinds of evidence.
- LSE Impact Blog reviews Open Data and the Knowledge Society, a book that uses four cases studies to discuss abstract challenges in managing the open data ecosystem.
- @DSI4EU has mapped and visualized over 2000 digital social innovation projects in Europe. Kind of pretty, I suppose, but I wasn’t able to find info on the site about what digital social innovation is, or the methodology for how the visualization was created.
This Week’s Macabre
The Dead Are Coming: Political Performance Art, Activist Remembrance and Dig(ital) Protests (Chapter in Performance and Civic Engagement)