Design thinking and health communication: learning from failure

Priyanka Dutt at BBC Media Action: “Anyone working in international development will attest that human-centred design (HCD) has been a ‘trending topic’ in recent years. Design thinking has been applied to a range of challenges, from supporting democratic transition in Libya to building an all-terrain wheelchair for under $200. Melinda Gates even hailed HCD as […]

Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

Nathaniel Persily in the Journal of Democracy: “…The actual story of the 2016 digital campaign is, of course, quite different, and we are only beginning to come to grips with what it might mean for campaigns going forward. Whereas the stories of the last two campaigns focused on the use of new tools, most of the […]

Working with Change: Systems Approaches to Public Sector Challenges

Piret Tõnurist at the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation: “The draft report “Working with Change: Systems Approaches to Public Sector Challenges” is now available online. In addition to the framework that was introduced previously on Hackpad, the team working on systems thinking at the Observatory has added four in-depth case studies from Canada, Finland, Iceland and […]

Need an improved solution to a development challenge? Consider collaborative design

Michelle Marshall  at the Inter-American Development Bank: “The challenges faced in the development and public policy arenas are often complex in nature. Devising relevant, practical, and innovative solutions requires intensive research, analysis and expertise from multiple sectors. Could there be a way to streamline this process and also make it more inclusive?  Collaborative Design, like […]

The Moment for Participatory Democracy

Hollie Russon Gilman at the Stanford Social Innovation Review: “Since the 2016 US presidential election, everyone—including the President and those protesting outside his office—has been talking about bringing the voices of everyday citizens into public life. Several hurdles have prevented the efforts of many groups—including nationwide organizations, civic technologists, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, and advocates championing civic […]

What Is an Event?

Book by Robin Wagner-Pacifici: “We live in a world of breaking news, where at almost any moment our everyday routine can be interrupted by a faraway event. Events are central to the way that individuals and societies experience life. Even life’s inevitable moments—birth, death, love, and war—are almost always a surprise. Inspired by the cataclysmic events […]

Can The Internet Strengthen Democracy?

Book by Stephen Coleman: “From its inception as a public communication network, the Internet was regarded by many people as a potential means of escaping from the stranglehold of top-down, stage-managed politics. If hundreds of millions of people could be the producers as well as receivers of political messages, could that invigorate democracy? If political elites […]

CrowdCurio: an online crowdsourcing platform to facilitate climate change studies using herbarium specimens

Charles G. Willis et al in New Phytologist: “Phenology is a key aspect of plant success. Recent research has demonstrated that herbarium specimens can provide important information on plant phenology. Massive digitization efforts have the potential to greatly expand herbarium-based phenological research, but also pose a serious challenge regarding efficient data collection. Here, we introduce […]

Smart Government: A New Adjective to Government Transformation or a Trick?

Chapter by Leonidas G. Anthopoulos in Understanding Smart Cities: A Tool for Smart Government or an Industrial Trick: “Smart city and smart government appear to share a common scientific interest, since they structure corresponding research and practice terms like the “Web Applications and Smart Cities (AW4City)”, “The Smart Cities and Smart Government Research-Practice (SCSGRP) Consortium” and the “Beyond […]

How social media data can improve people’s lives – if used responsibly

Stefaan Verhulst (et al) in the Conversation: “In January 2015, heavy rains triggered unprecedented floods in Malawi. Over the next five weeks, the floods displaced more than 230,000 people and damaged over 64,000 hectares of land. Almost half the country was labelled a “disaster zone” by Malawi’s government. And as the humanitarian crisis unfolded, relief […]