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

Uncategorized

Governance beyond elections: how considering US political crises helps bridge the gap between disciplines and methodologies

…it is critical that we look beyond the conventional focus on elections, campaign finance reform, and voting rights. There is no question that these are critical areas of concern, and necessary preconditions for meaningful democracy reform. But these areas are also well-studied and understood by many of us in the field. In this report, we hope to highlight some of the other dimensions that...

research links w 11-17

Findings Voice online: Twitter advocacy can bypass mainstream media that excludes non-elite voices, according to a study of how #IfTheyGunnedMeDown was used following 2014 police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri. That’s good news for digital advocacy innovators, but important to remember that people don’t feel safe online and don’t understand how their personal information gets...

research links w 7-17

What a week… Papers & Findings Political tech: A survey of Swedish NGOs (n=907) suggests that civil society needs lots of human resources to use social media effectively in campaigns, which raises the bar for entry, and strengthens an elite cohort of civil  society organizations. Tech was shown to directly help voters, however, as new research strengthens the claim that information apps...

research links w 3/17

Papers & Findings What makes multi stakeholder initiatives for transparency effective? In the case of EITI, it seems to be treating civil society  as equal partners and ensuring that they bring relevant technical skills to the table. This according to doctoral research that also outlines common “pathways to proactive transparency reform.” Would be great to see research testing...

research links w 50-52

Papers and Findings Do global norms and clubs make a difference? A new dissertation assesses implementation of EITI, CSTI and OGP in Guatemala, the Philippines and Tanzania to conclude that multi-stakeholder initiatives can strengthen national proactive transparency, but have little impact on demand-driven accountability. There are interesting insights on open washing and the importance of high...

Panel weights and voice for the voiceless (lessons from Uncle Sam’s Rock-Bottom Yankee Doodle Suicide Pact 2016)

So not even MethodicalSnark can resist the US presidential elections (as christened by John Oliver). New York Times ran a piece this week entitled How One 19-Year-Old Illinois Man Is Distorting National Polling Averages. Our Trump-supporting friend in Illinois is a surprisingly big part of the reason. In some polls, he’s weighted as much as 30 times more than the average respondent, and as much...

Crimes against data, talk by Andrew Gelman

Andrew Gelmen gives a great talk on how data gets abused in research and politics. He goes a bit into the statistical weeds at times with T & P values and the like, but he’s also a pleasure to listen to. And he gives some great examples of both academics and public figures that either “treat statistics as a means to prove what they already know, or as hoops to be jumped through...

Research Links (w 36-37)

Papers / Findings Dont trust the crowd! Paper in PLOS-One finds that the subjective experiences of contributors to crowdsourced map-making are influenced by their nationality and degree of expertise. Moreover-surprise-this influences what they report to the map. Data sampled from geowiki, methods a bit too technical for me to assess. New empirical analysis in Administration and Society shows...

Methods for Measuring Open Data

Back in 2014, the Web Foundation and the GovLab at NYU brought together open data assessment experts from Open Knowledge, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and elsewhere to explore the development of common methods and frameworks for the study of open data. It resulted in a draft template or framework for...

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

Tags

Get in touch

Suggest research to be reviewed or mini-lit reviews. Ask questions or tell me why I'm wrong.