Participatory Governance

Book chapter by Stephanie L. McNulty and Brian Wample in “Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource”: “Efforts to engage new actors in political decision-making through innovative participatory programs have exploded around the world in the past 25 years. This trend, called participatory governance, involves state-sanctioned institutional processes that allow citizens to […]

Smart Cities, Smart Governments and Smart Citizens: A Brief Introduction

Paper by Gabriel Puron Cid et al in the International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR): “Although the field of study surrounding the “smart city” is in an embryonic phase, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in urban settings is not new (Dameri and Rosenthal-Sabroux, 2014; Toh and Low, 1993; Tokmakoff and Billington, 1994). Since […]

Big Data. Big Obstacles.

Dalton Conley et al. in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “After decades of fretting over declining response rates to traditional surveys (the mainstay of 20th-century social research), an exciting new era would appear to be dawning thanks to the rise of big data. Social contagion can be studied by scraping Twitter feeds; peer effects are […]

WFP And OCHA Join Forces To Make Data More Accessible

World Food Programme Press Release: “The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have teamed up to provide access to global data on hunger and food insecurity. The data can be used to understand the type of food available in certain markets, how families […]

World of Labs

NESTA: “Governments across the world are creating innovation teams and labs to help them find new ways of tackling the complex challenges of the 21st century. If you want to get a sense of the scale of this global trend then check out this searchable global map of innovation labs worldwide. There are about 80 in total represented here […]

You Can’t Handle the (Algorithmic) Truth

Adam Elkus at Slate: “Critics of “algorithms” are everywhere. Algorithms tell you how to vote.Algorithms can revoke your driver’s license and terminate your disability benefits. Algorithms predict crimes. Algorithms ensured you didn’t hear about #FreddieGray on Twitter. Algorithms are everywhere, and, to hear critics, they are trouble. What’s the problem? Critics allege that algorithms are opaque, […]

Shifting from research governance to research ethics: A novel paradigm for ethical review in community-based research

Paper by Jay Marlowe and Martin Tolich: “This study examines a significant gap in the role of providing ethical guidance and support for community-based research. University and health-based ethical review committees in New Zealand predominantly serve as ‘gatekeepers’ that consider the ethical implications of a research design in order to protect participants and the institution from harm. However, […]

Confronting the hype. The use of crisis mapping for community development

Paper by Ana Brandusescu and Renée E Sieber: “Crisis mapping has emerged as a method of connecting and empowering citizens during emergencies. This article explores the hyperbole behind crisis mapping as it extends into more long-term or ‘chronic’ community development practices. We critically examined developer issues and participant (i.e. community organization) usage within the context of local communities. […]

Platforms connect talented Instagrammers with good causes

Springwise: “….a number of charities using social media campaigns to spread awareness about their causes. Only last week we covered the #EndangeredEmoji campaign from WWF, which uses Twitter and emojis to highlight the plight of seventeen endangered species. Now, two startups — Gramforacause and Gramming For Good — are turning to the photocentric platform Instagram […]