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

Here’s a weekly summary, plus occasional commentary on research findings and conversations relevant to measurement issues in civic tech research.

Note that the general criteria is that I only post things that would be useful to know about when designing or implementing civic tech and accountability programs. That means I leave out a whole host of theoretical work and stuff on government innovation.

I’m always experimenting with finding the right level of detail and how to make this more accessible. Let me know how I’m doing or if there’s anything I’m missing.

Roundup: fact checking works, radio boosts participation, but generally, government innovation is failing.

Civic tech research saw some exciting findings last week, including experimental work on factors affecting civic voice and representation across multiple country and municipal contexts. Also some useful research for advocating feedback within organizations, great research-driven resources for better advocacy and some deep deep weeds on merging human rights databases.

Roundup: pollution live cams, depressing findings, and the unicorn of Iceland’s crowdsourced constitution

Last week's research roundup has evidence on causes of citizen complaints and parliamentarian responsiveness, plus depressing research on popular trends in human rights advocacy and community driven development. But fear not, there's also frank and optimistic takes on social media, smart new methods for measuring active citizenship and an inspiring story from 18th century abolitionist activism.

Roundup: e-gov is good for anti-corruption and less rigorous research is best for policy

Last week saw civic tech research on links between e-government and corruption, analysis of protest signs, and a nice case study on what kind of research is most effective for influencing health policy. Plus there's some excellent responsible research resources, research overviews on blockchain and governance, and Uganda levies a social media tax. Yes, there's also that.

Roundup: formal organizations campaign more online, instructive failure in scaling engagement, and weedsy methods for measureing #open

Civic tech research last week included deep dives into measuring and assessing open government in Mexico, insights on why governments choose collaboration, and field experiments that hint at the limits of scaled engagement strategies. Plus, funding, resources for mapping legal regimes, and smart thinking on how to think about civic tech impact.

Roundup: circumvention on the rise, costing closed contracting, better case selection, and a check list for digital methods

Last week saw new evidence on the costs of closed contracting, features for participatory engagement, and the positive outcomes of collaborative and adaptive development programming. Plus there's new resources for using Stata and guidance on digital and econometric methods. Plus, smart phones make us do silly things.

Roundup: participation is up in Latin America, nobody’s paying for the data revolution, and somebody finally asked the activists what research they actually want

Last week in civic tech saw a new index on civic engagement in Latin America, findings on government run crowdsourcing initiatives, lessons from m-health pilots, and some excellent summaries from the world of development research. Plus major geekdom on QCA methods, and for the first time I'm aware of, actual research on what kind of research activists want.

Roundup: evidence on the power of knowing who’s watching, nothing disruptive about open data research, and wet string.

Highlights from civic tech research last week included calls for intermediaries to build safe spaces for government data, an unsurprising stocktaking on open data research, and a productive research takedown by someone who's not me. Plus, there's piles of almost useful learnings, useful help for contribution analysis and data analysis with visualization, and tips for making research useful. Also...

Roundup: why people participate in politics and tweet storms, problems with generalizing research, throwing statistics out with the bathwater

Last week had interesting findings on political mobilization, now with brain scans. Lots of discussions about appropriate methods for measuring government performance, improving statistics and facilitating adaptive programming. Useful resources from the Engine Room and Beautiful Rising. Oh, and Disco!.

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

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