An invite to our Evening of Research

eveningAs mentioned in a recent blog post, we’ve commissioned lots of research recently to find out what impact our sites have.

So, we thought, why not have an event to talk about some of the projects we’ve been working on, and consider future research.

Next Wednesday 19th November, we’ll be chatting about the following research projects in particular:

Can online freedom of information tools like Alaveteli help citizens to exert power over under-performing institutions?

Earlier this year mySociety instigated a research project to look at the place that Alaveteli and other FOI online technologies might have in creating cultures of transparency and accountability.

We want to address this top level question: “In what circumstances, if any, can tools like Alaveteli be shown to have measurable impacts on the ability of citizens to exert power over underperforming institutions?”

Researcher Dr. Savita Bailur will present the findings and methodologies of this project. Find out more about this research here.

Examining the power of social information within website copy

With Professor Peter John from University College London we undertook a research project to examine the power of social information within website copy. For example, do more people write to their politician if they are shown how many other people have done the same?

Peter will talk about the methodologies behind this research and share some of its key findings.

Analysing usage trends on FixMyStreet

FixMyStreet is supposed to ensure that everyone can make a request for problems to be fixed by their council, but are all requests equal? Or are councils cherry picking which requests to respond to?

These are some of the high level questions the World Bank has been tackling in their research project.

Our Head of Research, Rebecca Rumbul, will share some key findings ahead of the report’s launch next year.

Analysing Mzalendo: Opening up democracy in Kenya?

Is Mzalendo opening up democratic engagement in Kenya? And can participation be encouraged through low-cost promotion through Facebook?

Researchers at MIT are learning how Mzalendo can obtain additional users, and seek to understand what information appeals to those users, and how to prompt them to engage with their institutions and politicians on issues that matter to them.

We’ll discuss the rationale and approach behind this research initative.

There’ll also be a chance to discuss ideas of future research projects and talk to the mySociety team about our work.

We’ll also be offering free drinks and snacks, so what more could you want? Anyone is welcome, but please sign up here.

When: Wednesday 19th November, 6pm – 9pm
Where: Mozilla Space London, 101 St. Martins Lane (3rd Floor) London WC2N 4AZ
How: Please register to come along by visiting this page. There is no need to print out your ticket.
Who: Anyone who fancies it.

If you’d like to be added to our research mailing list to keep up to date with mySociety’s latest findings in the fields of digital democracy, transparency, and the impact of civic tech then please sign up here.

Image: ashley rose, (CC)