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

Roundup: more efficient FOI requests, activism disruptions and efforts to counter misinformation



A randomized field experiment in Uruguay finds that requests for government information are more likely to succeed if they explicitly reference R2I legislation, but that this is only true for men.

Research from IREX shows that training citizens to spot disinformation works (at least in this Ukrainian context, according to an evaluation using online surveys and comparing a stratified random sample of training participants to a control group). Meanwhile Poynter is building on Council of Europe research to provide a living guide on country efforts to legislate against misinformation ( to date including: Belarus | Belgium | Brazil |  Croatia | France | Germany | India | Indonesia | Ireland | Italy | Kenya | Malaysia | The Philippines | Singapore | South Korea | Spain | Sweden | Tanzania | Uganda | United Kingdom | United States)

Online activism:
Bots were used to effectively destabilize and diffuse social media activism and protest last week, according to live guerilla research on #FamiliesBelongTogether. Meanwhile, research from @info_activism suggests that “WhatsApp is increasingly becoming the main tool for political campaigns in the Global South,” and includes case studies on Malaysia and Brazil.

Case & Curation

This article considers the legal context for evaluating the burden of FOIA compliance by  a US state government.

You can also read all about:


The prolific Gianpaolo Baiocchi has a new book on new forms of activism, participation, and protest in Latin America, plus there’s a new, sprawling book on participatory budgeting produced by the World Bank and the Russian MFA. Really. It’s oddly formatted and the language is weird (the table of contents is called an index, the website seems structured towards Spanish Speakers), but covers a tremendous amount of ground, including country and regional and thematic case studies, plus some synthetic work, from “more than sixty authors, coming from all continents.”

Lastly, Communication and Society has a special issue on “Political Communication in Uncertain Times. Digital Technologies, Citizen Participation and Open Governance”

In the Methodological Weeds

.@natematias has posted a description and link to all the materials from his course on the craft, ethics, and politics of field experiments. Great stuff.

Real Geeks does a step-by-step walk through on a Tunisian field experiment used to design indicators for women’s empowerment by asking, wait for it…. Women.

Miscellanea and Absurdum

Who knew that Brutalist web design would save UX from the IKEA aesthetics creep.

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


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