Research

In addition to basing our projects on research-based best practices, E-Democracy supports the efforts of online civic engagement researchers.

R+D Test Bed

A collaboration with Dr. Rosta Farzan of the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences launched in 2013 has so far yielded two conference papers. In 2014, Dr. Farzan received a Google Research Award to investigate the role of local online communities as "third places" akin to local coffee shops, community centers and beauty salons using E-Democracy data.

In May 2012, E-Democracy released the Inclusive Social Media Project Report, which provides a comprehensive participatory evaluation of the 2010-2011 project supported by the Ford Foundation (full report - pdf).

These collaborations and other early research date back to the 1990's with the publication of The Internet and Democratic Discourse: Exploring the prospects of online deliberative forums extending the public sphere - Minnesota E-Democracy (e-democracy.org) is the oldest and possibly most successful experiment in developing an ‘online commons’, Lincoln Dahlberg, Massey University, New Zealand, 2001.

Online Civic Engagement Research

Minnesota Research

  • Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Survey (2013, 2012) - Access to computers and the Internet, along with the skills to use these tools is critical as technology becomes more and more a part of our daily lives, City of Minneapolis.
     
  • Minnesota Civic Health Index - Charts Minnesota's progress toward preparing active citizens who are confident, effective contributors to a democratic way of life, National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), 2009.
     

BeNeighbors.org Support

In addition to the above, we are beholden to the University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs Community Geographic Information Systems (CGIS) program and Community Programs and the research staff at Minnesota Compass (Wilder Research) for developing demographic profiles and maps, and providing additional guidance and support.