Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech
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Roundup: degrees of responsiveness, evidence on smart participation design, how digital mobilization works, civic engagement with the dead

Lots of findings in civic tech research last week. Evidence on how to build open procurement and citizen participation initiatives, field experiments on degrees of responsiveness and accountability workshops gone wrong. New resources on crowdsourced legislative processes and evaluating police accountability, plus insights on citizen policy preferences and lots of cases studies. All of this...

When do global do-gooders influence government behavior? (a mini lit review)

Here’s a long-ranging exploration of the literature on international relations, policy diffusion, public administration, global policy assessments and multi-stakeholder initiatives, where I try to draw some conclusions about what we know and what we don't. I wrap it up by proposing six research questions that could directly inform the design of global do-goodery. There’s a bulleted summary up top.

Mechanism Mapping: a tool for determining when programs can be scaled or adapted

A recent Oxford white paper proposes mechanism modelling as a method to determine when results of policy evaluations should be scaled or adapted to other contexts. This is an compelling contribution to ongoing debates about external validity of RCTs, more importantly, it's a simple and useful tool for thinking about when and how civic tech programs work across different contexts.

Evidence cultures in ICT4D and humanitarianism

@techladylaura argues for installing a culture for evidence in ICT4D and suggests that we look to the humanitarian sector for inspiration on doing so. I don't think that's helpful. We need better stories about how evidence actually helps.

Roundup: Ugandan evidence on social context theory, all the Kenyan case studies, and dev economists heart India

Last week in civic tech reseach didn't have a lot of findings, but the evidence on social context theory from Ugandan villages is a doosey, with lot's of interesting implications for practice and study. Plus, @AllVoicesCount continued it's steady stream of case studies, there were several learning fora on tech in the health sector, and nerds can't stop thinking about D&D, even when innovating to...

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...

Last week in civic tech research: rehashing research; the importance of policy entrepreneurs, digital intermediaries and regulatory zombies

Running behind this week, but fortunately things were rather calm. Lots of summaries, stories and teases. The zombie was a high point. #findings nope… #confirmations Policy entrepreneurs are associated with early open data policy adoption and better data portals, according to an empirical analysis of Australian Federal and State Governments. Village level digital intermediaries play a...

Last Week in Civic Tech Research: the perfect storm for government as platform, the cost of infant lives and open government, and proof that size matters (for protests)

Findings: A review of 133 cross-sectional studies finds that the most significant political effects of social media use across contexts have to do with expression of political views on social networking sites, while an  experiment with Belgian legislators confirms the WUNC thesis of protest influence on elite opinion (ie: size matters, so does coherence). An experiment on public sector...

The State of Formal Transparency Research, a Civic Tech Iceburg

@allvoicescount is having their final learning event this week, and starting to draw conclusions from some of their research outputs. This seems like a good time to be consistently be reminding ourselves about all the complementary research on the same issues. There’s a tremendous amount of research being produced behind the ivory curtain. Presumably, we don’t have time to read it, or...

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

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