PoliInformatics: A big data approach to government transparency and understanding

Broad participation by informed citizens should lead to better public policy. But that doesn’t mean it is going to happen. Cognitively, people are inclined toward confirmation bias (looking for evidence that confirms what they already believe) and towards simple explanations of complex issues (dimension reduction).

A central goal of this initiative is to develop approaches and tools for improving transparency and understanding of government. Example projects make it easier for citizens to learn about what government actually does, lower the costs of finding things in government, and better understanding how politics can make resolving issues more challenging.

PoliInformatics assumes that interdisciplinary collaborations are essential to making progress on these important topics. The second PiNet workshop, which will include social scientists, computer scientists, information scientists and journalists is scheduled for the summer of 2017. For more information, see poliinformatics.org or follow us on Twitter at @PInformatics

Morgan Galloway wins Lev award

CAPPP Undergraduate Fellow Morgan Galloway is the recipient of the 2014 Daniel S. Lev Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis.

Morgan’s thesis used statistical methods to examine congressional support for U.S. anti-drug interventions in Latin America. Her thesis adviser was Professor Becca Thorpe.

Congratulations Morgan!