Paper by Yunsoo Lee and Hindy Lauer Schachter: “Theories of deliberative and stealth democracy offer different predictions on the relationship between trust in government and citizen participation. To help resolve the contradictory predictions, this study used the World Values Survey to examine the influence of trust in government on citizen participation. Regression analyses yielded mixed results. As deliberative democracy theory predicts, the findings showed that people who trust governmental institutions are more likely to vote and sign a petition. However, the data provided limited support for stealth democracy in that trust in government negatively affects the frequency of attending a demonstration….(More)”.
Report by the Pew Research Center: “In an era when science and politics often appear to collide, public confidence in scientists is on the upswing, and six-inten Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates about scientific
issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The survey finds public confidence in scientists on par with confidence in the military. It also exceeds the levels of public confidence in other groups and institutions, including the media, business leaders and elected officials.
At the same time, Americans are divided along party lines in terms of how they view the value and objectivity of scientists and their ability to act in the public interest. And, while political divides do not carry over to views of all scientists and scientific issues, there are particularly sizable gaps between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to trust in scientists whose work is related to the environment.
Higher levels of familiarity with the work of scientists are associated with more positive and more trusting views of scientists regarding their competence, credibility and commitment to the public, the survey shows….(More)”.
Book edited by Sébastien Lechevalier: ” The major purpose of this book is to clarify the importance of non-technological factors in innovation to cope with contemporary complex societal issues while critically reconsidering the relations between science, technology, innovation (STI), and society. For a few decades now, innovation—mainly derived from technological advancement—has been considered a driving force of economic and societal development and prosperity.
With that in mind, the following questions are dealt with in this book: What are the non-technological sources of innovation? What can the progress of STI bring to humankind? What roles will society be expected to play in the new model of innovation? The authors argue that the majority of so-called technological innovations are actually socio-technical innovations, requiring huge resources for financing activities, adapting regulations, designing adequate policy frames, and shaping new uses and new users while having the appropriate interaction with society.
This book gathers multi- and trans-disciplinary approaches in innovation that go beyond technology and take into account the inter-relations with social and human phenomena. Illustrated by carefully chosen examples and based on broad and well-informed analyses, it is highly recommended to readers who seek an in-depth and up-to-date integrated overview of innovation in its non-technological dimensions….(More)”.
Paper by Robin Carnahan, Randy Hart, and Waldo Jaquith: “Only 13% of large government software projects are successful. State IT projects, in particular, are often challenged because states lack basic knowledge about modern software development, relying on outdated procurement processes.
State governments are increasingly reliant on modern software and hardware to deliver essential services to the public, and the success of any major policy initiative depends on the success of the underlying software infrastructure. Government agencies all confront similar challenges, facing budget and staffing constraints while struggling to modernize legacy technology systems that are out-of-date, inflexible, expensive, and ineffective. Government officials and agencies often rely on the same legacy processes that led to problems in the first place.
The public deserves a government that provides the same world-class technology they get from the commercial marketplace. Trust in government depends on it.
This handbook is designed for executives, budget specialists, legislators, and other “non-technical” decision-makers who fund or oversee state government technology projects. It can help you set these projects up for success by asking the right questions, identifying the right outcomes, and equally important, empowering you with a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of modern software design.
This handbook also gives you the tools you need to start tackling related problems like:
- The need to use, maintain, and modernize legacy systems simultaneously
- Lock-in from legacy commercial arrangements
- Siloed organizations and risk-averse cultures
- Long budget cycles that don’t always match modern software design practices
- Security threats
- Hiring, staffing, and other resource constraints
This is written specifically for procurement of custom software, but it’s important to recognize that commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) is often custom and Software as a Service (SaaS) often requires custom code. Once any customization is made, the bulk of this advice in this handbook applies to these commercial offerings. (See “Beware the customized commercial software trap” for details.)
As government leaders, we must be good stewards of public money by demanding easy-to-use, cost-effective, sustainable digital tools for use by the public and civil servants. This handbook will help you do just that….(More)”
Internet Innovations Alliance: “Are Millennials okay with the collection and use of their data online because they grew up with the internet?
In an effort to help inform policymakers about the views of Americans across generations on internet privacy, the Internet Innovation Alliance, in partnership with Icon Talks, the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP), and the Millennial Action Project, commissioned a national study of U.S. consumers who have witnessed a steady stream of online privacy abuses, data misuses, and security breaches in recent years. The survey examined the concerns of U.S. adults—overall and separated by age group, as well as other demographics—regarding the collection and use of personal data and location information by tech and social media companies, including tailoring the online experience, the potential for their personal financial information to be hacked from online tech and social media companies, and the need for a single, national policy addressing consumer data privacy.
Download: “Concerns About Online Data Privacy Span Generations” IIA white paper pdf.
Paper by Lisa Schmidthuber; Dennis Hilgers and Maximilian Rapp: “Citizen engagement is seen as a way to address a range of societal challenges, fiscal constraints, as well as wicked problems, and increasing public participation in political decisions could help to address low levels of trust in politicians and decreasing satisfaction with political parties. This paper examines the perceived impacts of an experiment by the Austrian People’s Party which, in response to reaching a historic low in the polls, opened up its manifesto process to public participation via digital technology. Analysis of survey data from participants found that self-efficacy is positively associated with participation intensity but negatively related to satisfaction. In contrast, collective efficacy is related to positive perceptions of public participation in party politics but does not influence levels of individual participation. Future research is needed to explore the outcomes of political innovations that use digital technologies to enable public participation on voting behaviour, party membership and attitudes to representative democracy….(More)”.
Chapter by Michael Howlett and Stuti Rawat: “Behavioral science consists of the systematic analysis of processes underlying human behavior through experimentation and observation, drawing on knowledge, research, and methods from a variety of fields such as economics, psychology, and sociology. Because policymaking involves efforts to modify or alter the behavior of policy-takers and centers on the processes of decision-making in government, it has always been concerned with behavioral psychology. Classic studies of decision-making in the field derived their frameworks and concepts from psychology, and the founder of policy sciences, Harold Lasswell, was himself trained as a behavioral political scientist. Hence, it should not be surprising that the use of behavioral science is a feature of many policy areas, including climate change policy.
This is given extra emphasis, however, because climate change policymaking and the rise of climate change as a policy issue coincides with a resurgence in behaviorally inspired policy analysis and design brought about by the development of behavioral economics. Thus efforts to deal with climate change have come into being at a time when behavioral governance has been gaining traction worldwide under the influence of works by, among others, Kahneman and Tversky, Thaler, and Sunstein. Such behavioral governance studies have focused on the psychological and cognitive behavioral processes in individuals and collectives, in order to inform, design, and implement different modes of governing. They have been promoted by policy scholars, including many economists working in the area who prefer its insights to those put forward by classical or neoclassical economics.
In the context of climate change policy, behavioral science plays two key roles—through its use of behaviorally premised policy instruments as new modes of public policy being used or proposed to be used, in conjunction with traditional climate change policy tools; and as a way of understanding some of the barriers to compliance and policy design encountered by governments in combating the “super wicked problem” of climate change. Five kinds of behavioral tools have been found to be most commonly used in relation to climate change policy: provision of information, use of social norms, goal setting, default rules, and framing. A large proportion of behavioral tools has been used in the energy sector, because of its importance in the context of climate change action and the fact that energy consumption is easy to monitor, thereby facilitating impact assessment….(More)”.
EU report by Rene Van Bavel et al: “Recognising that advances in behavioural, decision and social sciences demonstrate that we are not purely rational beings, this report brings new insights into our political behaviour and this understanding have the potential to address some of the current crises in our democracies. Sixty experts from across the globe working in the fields of behavioural and social sciences as well as the humanities, have contributed to the research that underpins this JRC report that calls upon evidence-informed policymaking not to be taken for granted. There is a chapter dedicated to each key finding which outlines the latest scientific thinking as well as an overview of the possible implications for policymaking. The key findings are:
- Misperception and Disinformation: Our thinking skills are challenged by today’s information environment and make us vulnerable to disinformation. We need to think more about how we think.
- Collective Intelligence: Science can help us re-design the way policymakers work together to take better decisions and prevent policy mistakes.
- Emotions: We can’t separate emotion from reason. Better information about citizens’ emotions and greater emotional literacy could improve policymaking.
- Values and Identities drive political behaviour but are not properly understood or debated.
- Framing, Metaphor and Narrative: Facts don’t speak for themselves. Framing, metaphors and narratives need to be used responsibly if evidence is to be heard and understood.
- Trust and Openness: The erosion of trust in experts and in government can only be addressed by greater honesty and public deliberation about interests and values.
- Evidence-informed policymaking: The principle that policy should be informed by evidence is under attack. Politicians, scientists and civil society need to defend this cornerstone of liberal democracy….(More)”
“Make FOIA Work is about re-imagining journalism through design, participation and collaboration. Faculty, staff and students at Emerson College and the Engagement Lab staff worked alongside the Boston Institute of Nonprofit Journalism (BINJ) and MuckRock, two independent and alternative news and information platforms and publishers, to produce a data-driven and engagement-based investigative reporting series that exposes corruption around the sales of guns in Massachusetts. Through design studios in participatory methods and data visualization, project participants created a participatory guide book for journalists, practitioners and community members on how to undertake participatory design projects with a focus on FOIA requests, community participation, and collaboration. The project also highlights the course syllabi in participatory design methods and data visualization….(More)”.
Paper by Sandip Mukhopadhyay, Harry Bouwman and Mahadeo PrasadJaiswal: “The efficient delivery of government services to the poor, or Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP), faces many challenges. While a core problem is the lack of scalability, that could be solved by the rapid proliferation of platforms and associated ecosystems. Existing research involving platforms focus on modularity, openness, ecosystem leadership and governance, as well as on their impact on innovation, scale and agility. However, existing studies fail to explore the role of platform in scalable e-government services delivery on an empirical level. Based on an in-depth case study of the world’s largest biometric identity platform, used by millions of the poor in India, we develop a set of propositions connecting the attributes of a digital platform ecosystem to different indicators for the scalability of government service delivery. We found that modular architecture, combined with limited functionality in core modules, and open standards combined with controlled access and ecosystem governance enabled by keystone behaviour, have a positive impact on scalability. The research provides insights to policy-makers and government officials alike, particularly those in nations struggling to provide basic services to poor and marginalised. …(More)”.