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

Last Week in Civic Tech Research: the perfect storm for government as platform, the cost of infant lives and open government, and proof that size matters (for protests)

Findings: A review of 133 cross-sectional studies finds that the most significant political effects of social media use across contexts have to do with expression of political views on social networking sites, while an  experiment with Belgian legislators confirms the WUNC thesis of protest influence on elite opinion (ie: size matters, so does coherence). An experiment on public sector...

The State of Formal Transparency Research, a Civic Tech Iceburg

@allvoicescount is having their final learning event this week, and starting to draw conclusions from some of their research outputs. This seems like a good time to be consistently be reminding ourselves about all the complementary research on the same issues. There’s a tremendous amount of research being produced behind the ivory curtain. Presumably, we don’t have time to read it, or...

Last week in civic tech research: T4T/A boosts government efficiency, govt social media is for broadcasting and 700(!) activism nodes in LatAm

Firstly: policy makers say that readability is the most imp thing for getting your research used for decision-making, + more tips from @fp2p. Just getting that out there. Findings: Research on National Integrity Systems in New Zealand and the UK suggest that NIS impact is limited and disparate, while data analysis across 51 countries from 2003-2010, suggests that ICTs, transparency and anti...

research links w 11-17

Findings Voice online: Twitter advocacy can bypass mainstream media that excludes non-elite voices, according to a study of how #IfTheyGunnedMeDown was used following 2014 police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri. That’s good news for digital advocacy innovators, but important to remember that people don’t feel safe online and don’t understand how their personal information gets...

research links w 7-17

What a week… Papers & Findings Political tech: A survey of Swedish NGOs (n=907) suggests that civil society needs lots of human resources to use social media effectively in campaigns, which raises the bar for entry, and strengthens an elite cohort of civil  society organizations. Tech was shown to directly help voters, however, as new research strengthens the claim that information apps...

research links w 50-52

Papers and Findings Do global norms and clubs make a difference? A new dissertation assesses implementation of EITI, CSTI and OGP in Guatemala, the Philippines and Tanzania to conclude that multi-stakeholder initiatives can strengthen national proactive transparency, but have little impact on demand-driven accountability. There are interesting insights on open washing and the importance of high...

research links w 46-47

Papers and Findings Autocracy Online: Freedom on the Net 2016 was released, and shows continued declines in internet freedom around the world, with an increase of app censorship. Meanwhile, a paper in Telecommunications Policy argues that autocracies have “caught up” with democracies in terms of internet penetration since 2013, and an article in press argues that moving from electoral...

The problem with the problem with input transparency

This isn’t about research or methods, so I’ll be brief. Cass Sunstein, US policy veteran and eminent scholar, recently released a draft article distinguishing between input and output transparency, suggesting that arguments are weaker for the former, and offering reasons why input transparency might often not be a good thing.  (To grossly oversimplify: there are too many inputs to policy-making...

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

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