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

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: 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...

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.

research links w 9-17

Findings All the reports: A @datasociety report finds low trust in media among US youth, who often find news by accident, and demonstrate a variety of innovative verification strategies. Meanwhile, a University of London report finds that whistleblowing is more dangerous in the digital age and a new OECD report finds that the resurgence of single bidding significantly increases risks of...

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...

research links w 4/17

Papers & Findings The world is ending. The 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index finds links between corruption and inequality, and notes falling scores for countries around the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index is titled Revenge of the “deplorables”, and notes a worsening of the worldwide “democratic recession” in 2016. Civic techs. What are...

Research Links w 38

Papers and Findings Text analysis of Swiss media during national referenda on smoking bans finds that the use of evidence in political debates is rare, and usually used only to increase speakers’ credibility. Monitoring the activity of Swiss parliamentarians, meanwhile, is directly and positively affected by monitoring (explicitly via video recording parliamentary sessions) according to a...

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

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