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


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Papers & Findings A large scale citizen survey conducted in 36 Chinese cities found strong correlation between government transparency and citizen perceptions of public service equity. Perceptions of trust are equally important in open data initiatives, but a forthcoming article in Sociology argues that “open government initiatives routinely prize visibility over intelligibility and...

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Papers / Findings A special issue of the Journal of Communication Law and Policy offers five articles on the US Freedom of Information Act. The Editor’s conclusion: “The case made by all these articles is that FOIA is not doing the job that was intended, and that a major overhaul of the act is needed to ensure requisite access to government documents and activities. Access is key to a...

When Indicators Get in the Way, Go Report Minimal?

Now, there’s a lot we could debate here about data collection processes, or tools, or when and how data clerks should be employed – but that’s not the point. Instead, we suggest that a growing amount of the qualitative evidence indicates that costs of collecting and reporting on the data that inform high-level performance indicators (for various agencies) can be quite high – perhaps higher than...

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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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