This paper looks at how two Swedish government agencies (police and social insurance) use social media to build legitimacy, highlighting the importance of institutionally integrating communication strategies, and how this can create tensions with highly interactive approaches to citizen engagement. An AidData report emphasizes the broader benefits of government engagement, noting that the best way to increase civic participation in government monitoring is government responsiveness, according to field experiments conducted in Uganda, where responsiveness clearly outperformed encouragement from community and media figures. Analysis of U.S. national online panel data (n=1,201), on the other hand, finds strong correlations between expressive uses of tech, online storytelling networks and civic participation both online and offline, and finds community storytelling “to be a catalyst for building a vibrant civic communities.” Ahmed Tohamy’s analysis of Youth Activism and Social Networks in Egypt highlights the importance of moving between online and offline contexts. Continue reading “research links w 27 – 17”
There’s lots of findings on inclusion and exclusion this week. A study of Fix My Street platforms in Brussels suggests that they “marginalize low-income and ethnically diverse communities,” while a Dutch survey suggests that citizen forums aren’t increasing political engagement as much as we’d like. primarily due to problems with representation and drop-out problems, and @phat_controller offers early research reflections from the Philippines on how digital technologies are excluding rather than including. Meanwhile, a survey in Brazilian favelas (telecenter convenience sampling, n=107) suggests online content creation, digital freedom, mobile Internet access as best ways to improve political engagement among marginalized groups. Continue reading “research links w 18 – 17”
Do international norms and evaluations influence country performance? New evidence on the Aid transparency Index suggests they do. Combination of original panel data and interviews gives some pretty fascinating insights into institutional processes in government.
Community & Resources
A couple of new (and arguably redundant) efforts to open data in the US this week:
- The US State Department launched the “F Interagency Network Databank (FIND)” for accessing international development data by country.
- Former Microsoft executive spends a ton of cash creating USAFacts, to provide an integrated look at revenue and spending across federal, state and local governments. Coverage and skepticism.
There’s also now a SAGE Handbook of Resistance, has crowdsourced a lit review on free speech theory and technology in the US context, data from the 2016 Right to Education Index is now live, there’s 1 week left to comment on @SunFoundation’s Tactical Data Engagement Guide, and the eminent Stephen Coleman has a new book coming out to revitalize cyber utopianism. Continue reading “research links w 16-17”
Qualitative content analysis of 122 US cities suggests three main pathways through which police forces adopt and innovate transparency. Short version: it’s complicated, but policy and mandates matter a lot.
New research from NewsWhip suggests that political news is the trick for news outlets to increase their Facebook engagement, but that partisan sites are outperforming mainstream news outlets on Facebook in the first months of Trump. They argue that new features will only reinforce the Face’s centrality to activism in the future.
Microsoft Transparency report suggests that the US Govt is asking for a lot more information about less people (from 2015-2016). Continue reading “research links w15-17”
The weeds are deep in this one.
All the findings: @3ieNews has mapped out existing evidence on citizen-state relations, put together a linked matrix organized according to the interventions and outcomes measured, plus confidence levels. It includes “18 completed systematic reviews and two systematic review protocols, 305 completed impact evaluations reported in 280 papers, 60 ongoing impact evaluations reported in 59 papers.” And everything is linked. And it’s not ugly. Swoon. h/t
Meanwhile, @bbcmediaaction blogs on their new data portal, which collects survey data on “rarely polled” people in 13 developing countries, providing insights on media use, governance and freedom of expression perspectives. Continue reading “research links w 14-17”
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 the most important characteristics for civic apps? Low threshold for use, built in feedback, and visible change and engagement across users. This according to a paper presented at a recent Cambridge conference. Meanwhile, research on Twitter use in the 2016 Ugandan elections finds that the social media platform “provides minority groups important access to public space otherwise denied on traditional media platforms,” and a Yale study suggests that city use of citizen reporting platforms correlate with lower levels of crime, potentially due to increased social cohesion, though the authors are careful not to assert a causal relationship. Continue reading “research links w 4/17”
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 ignore the communicative basis of trust.” Trust also plays a significant role in Global Innovation Exchange’s sweeping report on the use of ICTs in fighting Ebola, including 9 case studies, and based on 130 interviews. The report’s insights on the “fog of information” are particularly compelling.
Continue reading “Research Links w 2-17”