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

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...

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...

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.

research links w 21-17

Findings E-government projects are more successful when formal decision-making processes include stakeholders and actively manage risk, according to a survey of  Swedish national government agencies and municipalities (N=550). Meanwhile, @timdavies is coauthor on a paper in Science & Technology Studies that tracks how data standards influence bureaucratic processes for opening government data...

research links w 19 & 20-17

Findings The University of Vienna has a new report on far-right attacks on the press, a concept they sketch to include legal action, abuse of power and online abuse. The report describes a delicate relationship between the rise of far-right nationalism/populism and declines in the quality of European democracy.  Meanwhile @datasociety‘s new report on Media Manipulation only describes the...

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...

Review – Popular Democracy: the Participation Paradox

Though you wouldn’t know it from the title, Popular Democracy is about participatory budgeting, full stop. It’s a fantastic little book (213 pgs) that’s both accessible and illustrative, leveraging an ethnographic account of several participatory budgeting case studies to argue for the potential power of participatory mechanisms more broadly. It’s a casually written book that’s a...

research links w8-17

Findings #participationwashing? Participatory mechanisms promise to empower the marginalized, and can provide the illusion of power, but an ethnographic study on development processes in Boston shows how participation can simply reinforce existing power dynamics: “residents appear empowered, while officials retain ultimate decision-making authority.” Worse than that, a (peer reviewed...

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

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