Report by Anthony McCosker et al: “ The project seeks to enable local community disaster preparedness and thus build community resilience by improving the quality of data about community strengths, resources and assets.
In this report, the authors define a gap in existing humanitarian mapping approaches and the uses of open, public and social media data in humanitarian contexts. The report surveys current knowledge and present a selection of case studies delivering data and humanitarian mapping in local communities.
Drawing on this knowledge and practice review and stakeholder workshops throughout 2021, the authors also define a method and toolkit for the effective use of community assets data…(More)”
Blog by Alana Cattapan & Tobin LeBlanc Haley: “The expertise of people with lived experience is receiving increased attention within policy making arenas. Yet consultation processes have, for the most part, been led by public servants, with limited resources provided for supporting the community engagement vital to the inclusion of lived experience experts in policy making. What would policy decisions look like if the voices of the communities who live with the consequences of these decisions were prioritised not only in consultation processes, but in determining priorities and policy processes from the outset? This is one of the questions we explore in our recent article published in the special issue on Transformational Change in Public Policy.
As community-engaged policy researchers, along with Leah Levac, Laura Pin, Ethel Tungohan and Sarah Marie Wiebe, our attention has been focused on how to engage meaningfully and work together with the communities impacted by our research, the very communities often systematically excluded from policy processes. Across our different research programmes, we work together with people experiencing precarious housing and homelessness, migrant workers, northern and Indigenous women, First Nations, and trans and gender diverse people. The lessons we have learned in our research with these communities are useful for our work and for these communities, as well as for policy makers and other actors wanting to engage meaningfully with community stakeholders.
Our new article, “Transforming Public Policy with Engaged Scholarship: Better Together,” describes these lessons, showing how engaged scholarship can inform the meaningful inclusion of people with lived expertise in public policy making. We draw on Marianne Beaulieu, Mylaine Breton and Astrid Brouselle’s work to focus on four principles of engaged scholarship. The principles we focus on include prioritising community needs, practicing reciprocity, recognising multiple ways of knowing, and crossing disciplinary and sectoral boundaries. Using five vignettes from our own research, we link these principles to our practice, highlighting how policy makers can do the same. In one vignette, co-author Sarah Marie Wiebe describes how her research with people in Aamjiwnaang in Canada was made possible through the sustained time and effort of relationship building and learning about the lived experiences of community members. As she explains in the article, this work included sensing the pollution in the surrounding atmosphere firsthand through participation in a “toxic tour” of the community’s location next to Canada’s Chemical Valley. In another vignette, co-author Ethel Tungohan details how migrant community leaders led a study looking at migrant workers’ housing precarity, enabling more responsive forms of engagement with municipal policy makers who tend to ignore migrant workers’ housing issues….(More)”.
Book by Bernard De Koven: “Bernard De Koven (1941–2018) was a pioneering designer of games and theorist of fun. He studied games long before the field of game studies existed. For De Koven, games could not be reduced to artifacts and rules; they were about a sense of transcendent fun. This book, his last, is about the imagination: the imagination as a playground, a possibility space, and a gateway to wonder. The Infinite Playground extends a play-centered invitation to experience the power and delight unlocked by imagination. It offers a curriculum for playful learning.
De Koven guides the readers through a series of observations and techniques, interspersed with games. He begins with the fundamentals of play, and proceeds through the private imagination, the shared imagination, and imagining the world—observing, “the things we imagine can become the world.” Along the way, he reminisces about playing ping-pong with basketball great Bill Russell; begins the instructions for a game called Reception Line with “Mill around”; and introduces blathering games—Blather, Group Blather, Singing Blather, and The Blather Chorale—that allow the player’s consciousness to meander freely.
Delivered during the last months of his life, The Infinite Playground has been painstakingly cowritten with Holly Gramazio, who worked together with coeditors Celia Pearce and Eric Zimmerman to complete the project as Bernie De Koven’s illness made it impossible for him to continue writing. Other prominent game scholars and designers influenced by De Koven, including Katie Salen Tekinbaş, Jesper Juul, Frank Lantz, and members of Bernie’s own family, contribute short interstitial essays…(More)”
Repository by The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) (via APO): “…outlines tools for education policy-makers to assess their confidence in a certain policy, program or initiative, and decide on next steps.
The evidence decision-making tool assists you to:
- assess how confident you are that a certain policy, program or other initiative is likely to be effective in your context
- decide on next steps, including how to implement the initiative given your level of confidence, and how to collect more evidence to increase your confidence in its effectiveness
The evidence decision-making tool can be used by an individual or a group, for example, in a planning workshop. It’s designed to be flexible, so you can use it to consider a change to an existing initiative or the introduction of something new…(More)”.
Paper by Lisa Oswald: “High-quality discussions can help people acquire an adequate understanding of issues and alleviate mechanisms of opinion polarization. However, the extent to which the quality of the online public discourse contributes is contested. Facing the importance and the sheer volume of online discussions, reliable computational approaches to assess the deliberative quality of online discussions at scale would open a new era of deliberation research. But is it possible to automate the assessment of deliberative quality? I compare structural features of discussion threads and simple text-based measures to established manual content analysis by applying all measures to online discussions on ‘Reddit’ that deal with the 2020 wildfires in Australia and California. I further com pare discussions between two ideologically opposite online communities, one featuring discussions in line with the scientific consensus and one featuring climate change skepticism. While no single computational measure can capture the multidimensional concept of deliberative quality, I find that (1) measures of structural complexity capture engagement and participation as preconditions for deliberation, (2) the length of comments is correlated with manual measures of argumentation, and (3) automated toxicity scores are correlated with manual measures of respect. While the presented computational approaches cannot replace indepth content coding, the findings imply that selected automated measures can be useful, scalable additions to the measurement repertoire for specific dimensions of online deliberation. I discuss implications for communication research and platform regulation and suggest interdisciplinary research to synthesize past content coding efforts using machine learning….(More)”.
Article by Henry Cooke: (New Zealand) “The Government is considering proactively releasing almost all advice to ministers under a planned shakeup to transparency rules, which, if made, would amount to a seismic shift in the way the public sector communicates.
Open government advocates have cautiously welcomed the planned move, but say the devil will be in the detail – as the proactive release regime could end up defanging the Official Information Act (OIA).
The Public Service Commission is consulting with government departments and agencies on a proposal to release to the public all briefings and other advice given to ministers – unless there is a compelling reason not to, such as national security or breaching a commercial agreement, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
Currently, the Government proactively releases all Cabinet papers within 30 working days of a decision being made, but it does not release the advice that underpins those decisions. The Cabinet papers can also be redacted entirely or in part if the Government believes there is a good reason to do so.
Some advice is proactively released by individual agencies but there is no uniform rule declaring it or any centralised depository. In practice, much of it is released after either the media or opposition requests a copy under the OIA.
The new regime would see all ministerial advice be released without waiting to be asked for it, although it is not clear on what timeframe.
Ministers would also have to proactively release the titles of their briefings on a regular basis, meaning any advice that was not released could be requested under the OIA.
The Public Service Commission – which oversees the sprawling public sector – is also exploring options for a single point of access for these documents, instead of it being spread over many different websites….(More)”.
Blog by Eric Jensen and Mark Reed: “Managing data isn’t exciting and it can feel like a hassle to deposit data at the end of a project, when you want to focus on publishing your findings.
But if you want your research to have impact, paying attention to data could make a big difference, according to new research we published recently in the journal PLOS ONE.
We analysed case studies from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in 2014 to show how data analysis and curation can generate benefits for policy and practice, and sought to understand the pathways through which data typically leads to impact. In this series of blog posts we will unpack this research and show you how you can manage your data for impact.
We were commissioned by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) to investigate how research data contributes to demonstrable non-academic benefits to society from research, drawing on existing impact case studies from the REF. We then analyzed case studies from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018, a similar exercise to the UK’s…
The most prevalent type of research data-driven impact was benefits for professional practice (45% UK; 44% Australia).
This category of impact includes changing the ways professionals operate and improving the quality of products or services through better methods, technologies, and responses to issues through better understanding. It also includes changing organisational culture and improving workplace productivity or outcomes.
Government impacts were the next most prevalent category identified in this research (21% UK; 20% Australia).
These impacts include the introduction of new policies and changes to existing policies, as well as
- reducing the cost to deliver government services
- enhancing the effectiveness or efficiency of government services and operations
- more efficient government planning
Other relatively common types of research data-driven impacts were economic impact (13% UK; 14% Australia) and public health impacts (10% UK; 8% Australia)…(More)”.
Paper by Darren Sharp et al: “Data governance is an emerging field of study concerned with how a range of actors can successfully manage data assets according to rules of engagement, decision rights, and accountabilities. Urban studies scholarship has continued to demonstrate and criticize lack of community engagement in smart city development and urban data governance projects, including in local sustainability initiatives. However, few move beyond critique to unpack in more detail what community engagement should look like. To overcome this gap, we develop and test a participatory methodology to identify approaches to empowering community engagement in data governance in the context of the Monash Net Zero Precinct in Melbourne, Australia. Our approach uses design for social innovation to enable a small group of “precinct citizens” to co-design prototypes and multicriteria mapping as a participatory appraisal method to open up and reveal a diversity of perspectives and uncertainties on data governance approaches. The findings reveal the importance of creating deliberative spaces for pluralising community engagement in data governance that consider the diverse values and interests of precinct citizens. This research points toward new ways to conceptualize and design enabling processes of community engagement in data governance and reflects on implementation strategies attuned to the politics of participation to support the embedding of these innovations within specific socio-institutional contexts….(More)”.
Report by New South Wales Ombudsman: “There are many situations in which government agencies could use appropriately-designed machine technologies to assist in the exercise of their functions, which would be compatible with lawful and appropriate conduct. Indeed, in some instances machine technology may improve aspects of good administrative conduct – such as accuracy and consistency in decision-making, as well as mitigating the risk of individual human bias.
However, if machine technology is designed and used in a way that does not accord with administrative law and associated principles of good administrative practice, then its use could constitute or involve maladministration. It could also result in legal challenges, including a risk that administrative decisions or actions may later be held by a court to have been unlawful or invalid.
The New South Wales Ombudsman was prompted to prepare this report after becoming aware of one agency (Revenue NSW) using machine technology for the performance of a discretionary statutory function (the garnisheeing of unpaid fine debts from individuals’ bank accounts), in a way that was having a significant impact on individuals, many of whom were already in situations of financial vulnerability.
The Ombudsman’s experience with Revenue NSW, and a scan of the government’s published policies on the use of artificial intelligence and other digital technologies, suggests that there may be inadequate attention being given to fundamental aspects of public law that are relevant to machine technology adoption….(More)”
Paper by Nicholas Biddle et al: “In this article, we focus on data trust and data privacy, and how attitudes may be changing during the COVID-19 period. On balance, it appears that Australians are more trusting of organizations with regards to data privacy and less concerned about their own personal information and data than they were prior to the spread of COVID-19. The major determinant of this change in trust with regards to data was changes in general confidence in government institutions. Despite this improvement in trust with regards to data privacy, trust levels are still low….(More)”.