Methodical Snark

critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech
This is a blog about how the civic tech and accountability field measures its work and its impact. It’s based on a critical perspective, but tries to be more productive than conference snark. It’s an effort to highlight how much work is being done in silos across the academic-NGO divide, to de-mystify important methods and findings, and to call out research that is sloppy or unhelpful. Scroll for the blog roll, or check out the core content types:
I READ THIS FOR YOU: summaries for those with more interest than time. 
MINI LIT REVIEWS: when I wonder about something, I check what the research says, and write it up.
RESEARCH ROUNDUP: review of recent research on topical issues.
RANDOM SNARK: reflections and questions about using evidence in civic tech design.

Latest stories

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.

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

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