Digital Democracy: The Tools Transforming Political Engagement

Paper by Julie Simon, Theo Bass, Victoria Boelman and Geoff Mulgan: “… shares lessons from Nesta’s research into some of the pioneering innovations in digital democracy which are taking place across Europe and beyond. Key findings Digital democracy is a broad concept and not easy to define. The paper provides a granular approach to help […]

From Nairobi to Manila, mobile phones are changing the lives of bus riders

Shomik Mehnidrata at Transport for Development Blog: “Every day around the world, millions of people rely on buses to get around. In many cities, these services carry the bulk of urban trips, especially in Africa and Latin America. They are known by many different names—matatus, dalalas, minibus taxis, colectivos, diablos rojos, micros, etc.—but all have one […]

Connecting the dots: Building the case for open data to fight corruption

Web Foundation: “This research, published with Transparency International, measures the progress made by 5 key countries in implementing the G20 Anti-Corruption Open Data Principles. These principles, adopted by G20 countries in 2015, committed countries to increasing and improving the publication of public information, driving forward open data as a tool in anti-corruption efforts. However, this […]

Nuts and Bolts of Encryption: A Primer for Policymakers

Edward W. Felten: “This paper offers a straight for ward introduction to encryption, as it is implemented in modern systems, at a level of detail suitable for policy discussions. No prior background on encryption or data security is assumed. Encryption is used in two main scenarios. Encrypted storage allows information to be stored on a […]

Data Disrupts Corruption

Carlos Santiso & Ben Roseth at Stanford Social Innovation Review: “…The Panama Papers scandal demonstrates the power of data analytics to uncover corruption in a world flooded with terabytes needing only the computing capacity to make sense of it all. The Rousse impeachment illustrates how open data can be used to bring leaders to account. Together, […]

Big and open data are prompting a reform of scientific governance

Sabina Leonelli in Times Higher Education: “Big data are widely seen as a game-changer in scientific research, promising new and efficient ways to produce knowledge. And yet, large and diverse data collections are nothing new – they have long existed in fields such as meteorology, astronomy and natural history. What, then, is all the fuss […]

A solution to the single-question crowd wisdom problem

Dražen Prelec,H. Sebastian Seung & John McCoy in Nature: “Once considered provocative, the notion that the wisdom of the crowd is superior to any individual has become itself a piece of crowd wisdom, leading to speculation that online voting may soon put credentialed experts out of business. Recent applications include political and economic forecasting, evaluating nuclear safety, […]

In Beta: Is policymaking stuck in the 19th century?

Global Partners Digital: “Today we’re launching a new series of podcasts – titled In beta – with the aim of critically examining the big questions facing human rights in the digital environment. The series will be hosted by GPD’s executive director, Charles Bradley, who will interview a different guest – or guests – for each […]

The Paradox of Community Power: Cultural Processes and Elite Authority in Participatory Governance

Jeremy R. Levine in Social Forces: “From town halls to public forums, disadvantaged neighborhoods appear more “participatory” than ever. Yet increased participation has not necessarily resulted in increased influence. This article, drawing on a four-year ethnographic study of redevelopment politics in Boston, presents an explanation for the decoupling of participation from the promise of democratic […]

Data in public health

Jeremy Berg in Science: “In 1854, physician John Snow helped curtail a cholera outbreak in a London neighborhood by mapping cases and identifying a central public water pump as the potential source. This event is considered by many to represent the founding of modern epidemiology. Data and analysis play an increasingly important role in public […]