Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech
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research links w 16-17

Findings 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...

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...

New Research Guide on Open Data and Accountabiltiy

The GSDRC is a resource centre that synthesises and summarizes research for use in international development programming. It’s a great initiative for making scholarly work relevant and useful in the real world, and last week they released a new topic guide on open data and accountability. I was excited to take a look, as I’ve previously found their guides and responses to research help desk...

Against the civic tech sector

Stefaan G. Verhulst recently offered some suggestions on how to “build a civic tech field that can last and stand the test of time.” Stefaan is a smart guy, connected, well informed, and his suggestions make smart sense of a messy landscape. But they also accept a fundamental premise which tends to go unchecked in international discussions about civic tech. His introduction: …we are yet to...

Building on TICTec: more thinking about research pls

  Last week I joined the Impacts of Civic Technology Conference 2016, a sort of annual mixer for researchers and the civic tech community, organized by MySociety to “promote and share rigorous and meaningful research into online technologies and digital democracy around the world.” The event was good (write ups here, here, here, and here), but notable for being so firmly grounded in the idea...

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

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