But for the promise of open governance, we actually know very little about its true impact, and about the conditions and contingencies required for institutional innovation to really work. Even less is known about the capabilities that institutions must develop in order to be able to take advantage of new technologies and innovative practices. The lack of evidence is holding back positive change. It is limiting our ability to improve people’s lives.
The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance seeks to address these shortcomings. Convened and organized by the GovLab, and made possible by a three-year, $5 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Network seeks to build an empirical foundation that will help us understand how democratic institutions are being (and should be) redesigned, and how this in turn influences governance. At its broadest level, the Network seeks to create a new science of institutional innovation.
The Tuesday, May 12 #Hack4Congress awards ceremony at the House of Representatives’ majestic Judiciary Committee hearing room was the culmination of a 6 month long effort to engage technologically savvy members of the public with making Congress more open and efficient. The three winners of congressional data hackathons in Cambridge, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. presented their projects to three members of Congress, a bipartisan array of senior congressional staff, and a packed gallery filled with journalists, advocates, staff, academics, and others.
The Good Government Divide has nothing to do with intentions – the elected officials and staff members in both Digitopolis and Stressville want to govern well on behalf of their citizens. Instead, the divide has to do with resources. Too many small and medium-sized local governments in the U.S. believe they don’t have the budgets to harness state-of-the-art technology that would foster greater and much-needed efficiency and transparency for residents.
And money is truly at the heart of the matter here.
We are living in a time of radical openness—not of our governments, but of ourselves.
As we willingly open more of our lives to the public, government agencies are increasing their surveillance of us and also failing for the most part to take full advantage of digital technologies' ability to make public life more accessible and our public officials more accountable.
Over the past year, Pew Research Center conducted an experiment to see if the mode by which someone was surveyed – in this case, a telephone survey with an interviewer versus a self-administered survey on the Web – would have any effect on the answers people gave. We used two randomly selected groups from our American Trends Panel to do this, asking both groups the same set of 60 questions.
The result? Overall, our study found that it was fairly common to see differences in responses between those who took the survey with an interviewer by phone and those who took the survey on their own (self-administered) online, but typically the differences were not large. There was a mean difference of 5.5 percentage points and a median difference of 5 points across the 60 questions.
But there were three broad types of questions that produced larger differences (known as mode effects) between the responses of those interviewed by phone vs. Web.
I’ve known Edmund Pendleton from the University of Maryland as the Director of the D.C. National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Node (a collaboration among the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech...
Today is European E-Participation Day!
From the e-uropa website:
E-Participation is citizens’ participation in policies and policy-making through the help of ICT tools – e.g. signing an online...