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

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: 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: why people participate in politics and tweet storms, problems with generalizing research, throwing statistics out with the bathwater

Last week had interesting findings on political mobilization, now with brain scans. Lots of discussions about appropriate methods for measuring government performance, improving statistics and facilitating adaptive programming. Useful resources from the Engine Room and Beautiful Rising. Oh, and Disco!.

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 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 w5-17

Papers & Findings What makes for a strong and democratic public media? According to comparative research on “12 leading democracies,” it’s all about multi-year funding, legal charters limiting gov influence, arms-length oversight agencies and audience councils. Compelling, but not shocking. Similarly, we know that the internet doesn’t drive democracy, but increased...

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

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