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: 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...

research links w 40,17

Briefly: European governments are making decisions behind closed doors, according to research by Access Info.  A survey on citizen uptake of a reporting platform (Linz, Austria, n=773) finds mixed results on motivations for participation, but community disconnectedness and previous reporting experience seem strong predictors. A natural experiment with @openstreetmap‏ data suggests that data...

research links w 38-39, 17

New Media and Society has a special issue coming up on digital activism. It looks like a collection of cases, with little synthetic analysis or commentary. See the intro article in post print here. There’s also a special issue of the Qualitative Research journal focused on how qualitative methods should respond to the onslaught of new social data, including ethnographic methods for...

research links w 37 -17

I’m going to start prioritizing brevity, leaving out some of the absurdity and academic opps, let me know if you miss anything. Findings How to improve the quality of crowdsourced citizen science data? Technical measures help, but only when accompanied by instructions, according to an empirical study of four cases. Meanwhile, open data on public safety and transportation are the most...

A belated summer dump (w 28-36)

So I’ve been away for a whopping 8 weeks, bouncing between holidays,  summer schools, consultancies and moving the fam to DC. Somehow the internet refused to stop while I was gone. So as I get back into the swing of things, here is an abbreviated summary of the summer’s findings in civic tech research, plus a couple of choice weeds and reflections.

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

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