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: 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!.

Roundup: strategies for institutionalization in govt, social media activism is stressful, and nobody reads research.

Findings 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...

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...

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...

Last week in civic tech research: T4T/A boosts government efficiency, govt social media is for broadcasting and 700(!) activism nodes in LatAm

Firstly: policy makers say that readability is the most imp thing for getting your research used for decision-making, + more tips from @fp2p. Just getting that out there. Findings: Research on National Integrity Systems in New Zealand and the UK suggest that NIS impact is limited and disparate, while data analysis across 51 countries from 2003-2010, suggests that ICTs, transparency and anti...

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

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