The Cost-Benefit Revolution

Book by Cass Sunstein: “Why policies should be based on careful consideration of their costs and benefits rather than on intuition, popular opinion, interest groups, and anecdotes. Opinions on government policies vary widely. Some people feel passionately about the child obesity epidemic and support government regulation of sugary drinks. Others argue that people should be […]

Tanzania’s government is casting itself as the nation’s sole custodian of data

Abdi Latif Dahir at Quartz: “Tanzania’s government wants to have exclusive control over who collects and shares data about the country. In a bill tabled in parliament this week, the government aims to criminalize the collection, analysis, and dissemination of any data without first obtaining authorization from the country’s chief statistician. The key amendments to the Statistics Act […]

To Secure Knowledge: Social Science Partnerships for the Common Good

Social Science Research Council: “For decades, the social sciences have generated knowledge vital to guiding public policy, informing business, and understanding and improving the human condition. But today, the social sciences face serious threats. From dwindling federal funding to public mistrust in institutions to widespread skepticism about data, the infrastructure supporting the social sciences is […]

The Hacking of America

Jill Lepore at the New York Times: “Every government is a machine, and every machine has its tinkerers — and its jams. From the start, machines have driven American democracy and, just as often, crippled it. The printing press, the telegraph, the radio, the television, the mainframe, cable TV, the internet: Each had wild-eyed boosters […]

Swarm AI Outperforms in Stanford Medical Study

Press Release: “Stanford University School of Medicine and Unanimous AI  presented a new study today showing that a small group of doctors, connected by intelligence algorithms that enable them to work together as a “hive mind,” could achieve higher diagnostic accuracy than the individual doctors or machine learning algorithms alone.  The technology used is called Swarm AI and […]

Rohingya turn to blockchain to solve identity crisis

Skot Thayer and Alex Hern at the Guardian: “Rohingya refugees are turning to blockchain-type technology to help address one of their most existential threats: lack of officially-recognised identity. Denied citizenship in their home country of Myanmar for decades, the Muslim minority was the target of a brutal campaign of violence by the military which culminated a […]

Government for the Future Reflection and Vision for Tomorrow’s Leaders

Book by Mark A. Abramson, Daniel J. Chenok and John M. Kamensky: “In recognition of its 20th anniversary, The IBM Center for the Business of Government offers a retrospective of the most significant changes in government management during that period and looks forward over the next 20 years to offer alternative scenarios as to what government management might […]

Don’t forget people in the use of big data for development

Joshua Blumenstock at Nature: “Today, 95% of the global population has mobile-phone coverage, and the number of people who own a phone is rising fast (see ‘Dialling up’)1. Phones generate troves of personal data on billions of people, including those who live on a few dollars a day. So aid organizations, researchers and private companies […]

On International Day of Democracy, International Leaders Call for More Open Public Institutions

Press Release: “As the United Nations celebrates the International Day of Democracy on September 15 with its theme of “Democracy Under Strain,” The Governance Lab (The GovLab) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering will unveil its CrowdLaw Manifesto to strengthen public participation in lawmaking by encouraging citizens to help build, shape, and influence the laws and policies that affect their daily lives. […]