Searching for Understanding about Transparency and Accountability Interventions: The RCT Stage

T4D Open Meeting in Malawi. Photo credit: Kelvin Chirwa

This post shares 6 core principles for guiding the design of a transparency and accountability intervention to improve public services across a wide variety of contexts. This blog post is the second in a series highlighting key lessons from the new paper — Citizen Voices, Community Solutions: Designing Better Transparency and Accountability Approaches to Improve Health — from the Transparency for Development Project. Read other posts from the project here

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How to Design Community Scorecards to Improve Health

 

Can community scorecards be used to improve global health and education outcomes? The evidence is mixed, so the Transparency for Development team shares some tips on how to improve scorecard design. This blog post is the first in a series highlighting key lessons from the new paper — Citizen Voices, Community Solutions: Designing Better Transparency and Accountability Approaches to Improve Health — from the Transparency for Development Project

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The Promises and Pitfalls of Ballot Initiatives in the US

Photo Credit: CA Votes

This is the second of two posts by HKS MPP’18 James Pagano exploring the promises and pitfalls of direct democracy. In this post, James examines California’s experience with ballot initiatives – exposing where they are vulnerable and suggesting how they can be used to empower citizens and strengthen democracy. Read James’ first post here

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UK Discussion Group: The State of English Education

CC Isaactret

This post explores key issues facing the English school system, which was the topic of conversation during on session of the UK Discussion Group last semester. The students in this group looked at four significant challenges facing the English school system over the remainder of the parliament: grammar schools and social mobility, academisation, funding, and skills policy.

Read other posts in the UK discussion group series.

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Voter Suppression: What’s in Store for 2018?

(Marisa Wojcik/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP)

Ash Center Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy Miles Rapoport lays out critical voting rights issues to keep on the radar ahead of the 2018 elections. This article is part of the American Prospect series, where we post Miles’ biweekly column in the American Prospect on democracy issues. Read other posts in the series here. 

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Stories and Statistics: How communities can improve health workers’ bedside manners

© Transparency for Development/Jessica Creighton

In this post Senior Program Associate at Results for Development Preston Whitt shares the surprising ways communities in Indonesia and Tanzania are addressing the deep discontent within communities regarding health provider behavior and attitudes. This is the third post in the “Stories and Stats” blog series, which shares exciting quantitative trends from the Transparency for Development (T4D) Project, and digs into the stories behind the numbers. Read more from the T4D Project here. This post was originally published on the Results for Development blog.

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Voting Fights Continue: What’s the Score?

Photo Credit: Sandor Weisz/flickr/cc

Ash Center Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy Miles Rapoport assesses the surprising progress some states have made in expanding voting rights despite the current political climate, but calls for continued vigilance. This article is part of the American Prospect series, where we post Miles’ biweekly column in the American Prospect on democracy issues. Read other posts in the series here. 

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Stories and Statistics: How Citizens Demand Accountability for Healthcare

This post explores the surprising ways 100 Indonesian communities are holding their government officials and healthcare providers accountable. This is the second post in the “Stories and Stats” blog series, which shares exciting quantitative trends from the Transparency for Development (T4D) Project, and digs into the stories behind the numbers. Read more from the T4D Project here. This post was originally published on the Results for Development blog.

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Pence-Kobach Voter Fraud Commission Gets Fast Thumbs Down

Photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar

Ash Center Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy Miles Rapoport proposes a long-term strategy in response to the many attacks on voter rights, which is currently culminating in Trump’s Kobach Commission on voter fraud. This article is part of the American Prospect series, where we post Miles’ biweekly column in the American Prospect on democracy issues. Read other posts in the series here. 

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Protecting the Right to Vote in Trump’s America

©CC Michael Fleshman

MPP’18 candidate Seth Nelson takes stock of the state of voting rights. What can we do to ensure the work of Dr. King and countless others is not undermined by an administration that casts doubt on the integrity of our voting system and by legislatures seeking to limit suffrage through discriminatory voter laws? Read this post to find out.

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Filed under Race and American Politics, Voting Rights

What’s the Verdict on Direct Democracy?: Lessons from Latin America

OTTO DETTMER/THE ECONOMIST

This is the first of two posts by HKS MPP’18 James Pagano exploring the promises and pitfalls of direct democracy—and how it might be used in the United States. In this post, James draws lessons from direct democracy efforts in Latin America that can be used to inform such initiatives in the United States.

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What’s Your “Deep Story?”

When Professor Emerita at UC Berkeley Arlie Hochschild came to speak at the JFK Forum in March, she sparked a conversation around the idea of “deep stories” – the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and the values we share. In this post, Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow LaGina Gause offers a “deep story” that she feels might resonate with liberals more than the one described by Hochschild. If you have an alternate “deep story,” we invite you to share with us in the comments below.

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Filed under Democracy Program, Political Polarization

Conservative Call for Constitutional Convention Faces Setbacks

Ash Center Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy Miles Rapoport weighs in on the progress (and setbacks) of the conservative movement in their call for a constitutional convention. This is the third article in the American Prospect series, where we post Miles’ biweekly column in the American Prospect on democracy issues. Read other posts in the series here. 

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Stories and Statistics: How Qualitative Methods Help us Read Between the Numbers

This is the first post in the “Stories and Stats” blog series, which will share some exciting quantitative trends from the Transparency for Development (T4D) Project, and will dig into the stories behind the numbers. This post shares stories from T4D communities in Indonesia that demonstrate the importance of leaving room for local knowledge and creativity in international development projects. Read more from the T4D Project here. This post was originally published on the Results for Development blog.

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When Rebels Take Power: Q&A with Kai Thaler

This post is the second in our Democracy Fellows Spotlight series. Kai Thaler, one of the Ash Center’s Democracy Doctoral Fellows, is a fifth year graduate student and a PhD candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Thaler’s dissertation examines how rebel organizational characteristics affect the type and scope of state building and public service provision by rebel movements if they succeed in capturing the central state or seceding. Read other posts in this series here.

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2016 Election Turnout: What You Should Know

Ash Center Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy Miles Rapoport shares important take-aways from “America Goes to the Polls,” the first 2016 election turnout report released by the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida and Nonprofit VOTE. This is the second article in the American Prospect series, where we post Miles’ biweekly column in the American Prospect on democracy issues. Read other posts in the series here. 

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Elections: State Progress, Federal Train Wreck

This is the first post in a new series in which we cross-post a biweekly column written by Ash Center Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy Miles Rapoport for The American Prospect on democracy issues. In this article, originally published here, Rapoport comments on election administration from the perspective of Secretaries of State after attending the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Conference in February. 

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Turning Open Data into Open Government through Citizen Participation

In this post, originally published on the Government Innovators Network, MPP student Wen Hoe examines Irekia, an open government innovation in the Basque Country, as a tool to turn open data into open government through increased participation in policy-making. 

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Americas Watch as U.S. Democracy is Tested

On February 28th, 2017, Ash Center Non-resident Senior Fellow Peter Quilter testified before Congress on the state of the Western Hemisphere. Quilter warned that developments or attacks on U.S. democracy have a good chance of rippling through the Americas. This post is an excerpt from the testimony and shares Quilter’s thoughts on the state of Venezuela and what the U.S. should (or shouldn’t) do about it. Read the full testimony and watch the video online.

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HKS Alumni Use Technology to Improve Democracy

Last fall, the Ash Center convened a panel of four change-makers leveraging technology to improve Democracy titled “#Tech4Democracy: Meet the Change Makers.” This post expounds upon the issues discussed by Tiana Epps-Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Technology and Civic Life; Rey Faustino, CEO of One Degree; Seth Flaxman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Democracy Works; and Denise Linn, Program Analyst at Smart Chicago during the panel moderated by Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and Academic Dean, Archon Fung.
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Filed under Data-Smart City Solutions, Elections, Technology, Technology and Democracy