Wednesday, February 18, 2009

838: turning random curiosity into publishable work

Quick notes, 838, meeting with Amit:

  • Come up with a clear list of requirements. Don't sweat the existence of other systems. Go ahead, catalog those other systems, but make the system that meets your reqs.
  • Borrow from large-group collaboration research
  • --making room for more voices, allowing all to speak: recall the introductory survey/requirement idea
  • "social phenomenon is PB itself"
  • education! pre-test and post-test: "What do you think are the key issues in the budget?" test for educating
  • so these other systems exist -- they haven't been studied yet. The focus that makes the paper worthwhile is studying the system in the context of the constructs.
  • But what is your theory? What are you testing? You can't just go out, hand out a survey at random, and get a bunch of data. What is your theory? Go look on AISWorld, find the theory list.

Good E-Government Journals

University of Albany's Center for Technology in Government has a nice list of journals dedicated to digital government research:

CTG also highlights Communications of the ACM, Government Information Quarterly, Information Technology & People, Journal of Government Information, Social Science Computer Review, and The Information Society as good general journals that carry occasional e-gov-relevant research.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stimulus.Virginia.Gov: Step Toward National Participatory Budgeting

So I just finished reading Susan Tanaka's (2007) discussion of "Engaging the Public in National Budgeting." She gives a good summary of the challenges of taking participatory budgeting (PB) to a national scale (at some level, you still need to be able to look all neighbors in the eye, Sale would remind us).

Then I crack open today's news and read that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has launched Stimulus.Virginia.Gov, a portal where Virginians (and anyone else interested) can submit ideas for how Virginia ought to use its chunk of the stimulus package (which may arrive on Obama's desk by the weekend).

Gov. Kaine opened the site yesterday. As of 16:08 EST today, I find 763 proposals for all sorts of projects:

  • #710: Replace the town of Chilhowie's water tanks ($1,500,000).
  • #725: Keep Aubrey Temple's hardware store open ($50,000).
  • #753: Every penny to direct tax relief ($TBD).
  • #759: Subsidize medication for old folks and fix up hospitals ($100,000,000).
  • #760: resurface roads in Rocky Run ($100,000).
  • #762: replace an organization's furnace with new green equipment ($3,000).
Dang—don't tell me citizens aren't eager to participate in something this complex!

I also find a nice little "Export to Excel" button that would allow me to download the whole list of proposals and sort them by dollar amount, proposer, etc. Bless you, Virginia.

Now this isn't national PB; this is just Virginia looking for ideas on how to spend its portion. But Virginia's a big state, and this is a truckload of money. Every state should be soliciting citizen input this way.

Tanaka, Susan. (2007). "Engaging the Public in National Budgeting: A Non-Governmental Perspective."
OECD Journal on Budgeting (7:2), 139–177.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Public Administration: "Cooperation, Networking, Governance..."

A little public admin from Frederickson (1999):

"Theories and concepts of the clash of interests, of electoral and interest group competition, of games, and of winners and losers have dominated and continue to dominate political science. Public administration is steadily moving away from these theories and concepts toward theories of cooperation, networking, governance, and institution building and maintenance."

Frederickson totally address Stewart (2007) on his citizen participation game theory. Stewart assumes a competition/conflict is afoot, and often, he may be right. But the public administrator's job is not to play that game, but create a new one in which we operate as collaborators. The evolving mission Frederickson describes justifies offering PA a DSS tool to make that happen.


blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online