Archive by Author

Big Data and the Well-Being of Women and Girls: Applications on the Social Scientific Frontier

Report by Bapu Vaitla et al for Data2X: “Conventional forms of data—household surveys, national economic accounts, institutional records, and so on—struggle to capture detailed information on the lives of women and girls. The many forms of big data, from geospatial information to digital transaction logs to records of internet activity, can help close the global […]

Avoiding Data Graveyards: Insights from Data Producers & Users in Three Countries

Report by Samantha Custer and Tanya Sethi: “Government, development partner, and civil society leaders make decisions every day about how to allocate, monitor and evaluate development assistance. Policymakers and practitioners can theoretically draw from more data sources in a variety of formats than ever before to inform these decisions,but will they choose to do so? […]

Towards an experimental culture in government: reflections on and from practice

 Jesper Christiansen et al at Nesta: “…we share some initial reflections from this work with the hope of prompting a useful discussion about how to articulate the value of experimentation as well as what to consider when strategically planning and doing experiments in government contexts. Reflection 1: Experimentation as a way of accelerating learning and exploring “the […]

Ethics of the Health-Related Internet of Things: Mapping the Debate

Paper by Brent Mittelstadt: “The Internet of Things is increasingly spreading into the domain of medical and social care. Internet-enabled devices for monitoring and managing the health and well-being of users outside of traditional medical institutions have rapidly become common tools to support healthcare. Health-related Internet of Things (H-IoT) technologies increasingly play a key role in […]

Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy

Report by the National Academies of Sciences’s Panel on Improving Federal Statistics for Policy and Social Science: “Federal government statistics provide critical information to the country and serve a key role in a democracy. For decades, sample surveys with instruments carefully designed for particular data needs have been one of the primary methods for collecting data […]

Nudging people to make good choices can backfire

Bruce Bower in ScienceNews: “Nudges are a growth industry. Inspired by a popular line of psychological research and introduced in a best-selling book a decade ago, these inexpensive behavior changers are currently on a roll. Policy makers throughout the world, guided by behavioral scientists, are devising ways to steer people toward decisions deemed to be in their […]

Software used to predict crime can now be scoured for bias

Dave Gershgorn in Quartz: “Predictive policing, or the idea that software can foresee where crime will take place, is being adopted across the country—despite being riddled with issues. These algorithms have been shown to disproportionately target minorities, and private companies won’t reveal how their software reached those conclusions. In an attempt to stand out from […]

Scientific crowdsourcing in wildlife research and conservation: Tigers (Panthera tigris) as a case study

Özgün Emre Can, Neil D’Cruze, Margaret Balaskas, and David W. Macdonald in PLOS Biology: “With around 3,200 tigers (Panthera tigris) left in the wild, the governments of 13 tiger range countries recently declared that there is a need for innovation to aid tiger research and conservation. In response to this call, we created the “Think for Tigers” study to […]

Civic Tech & GovTech: An Overlooked Lucrative Opportunity for Technology Startups

Elena Mesropyan at LTP: “Civic technology, or Civic Tech, is defined as a technology that enables greater participation in government or otherwise assists government in delivering citizen services and strengthening ties with the public. In other words, Civic Tech is where the public lends its talents, usually voluntarily, to help government do a better job. Moreover, Omidyar […]

Technology Use, Exposure to Natural Hazards, and Being Digitally Invisible: Implications for Policy Analytics

Justin Longo, Evan Kuras, Holly Smith, David M. Hondula, and Erik Johnston in Special Issue of Policy & Internet on Data and Policy: “Policy analytics combines new data sources, such as from mobile smartphones, Internet of Everything devices, and electronic payment cards, with new data analytics techniques for informing and directing public policy. However, those […]