Last week, The GovLab, in collaboration with founding partners mySociety and the World Bank’s Digital Engagement Evaluation Team launched the Open Governance Research Exchange (OGRX), a new platform for sharing research and findings on innovations in governance.
From crowdsourcing to nudges to open data to participatory budgeting, more open and innovative ways to tackle society’s problems and make public institutions more effective are emerging. Yet little is known about what innovations actually work, when, why, for whom and under what conditions.
And anyone seeking existing research is confronted with sources that are widely dispersed across disciplines, often locked behind pay walls, and hard to search because of the absence of established taxonomies. As the demand to confront problems in new ways grows so too does the urgency for making learning about governance innovations more accessible.
As part of GovLab’s broader effort to move from “faith-based interventions” toward more “evidence-based interventions,” OGRX curates and makes accessible the most diverse and up-to-date collection of findings on innovating governance. At launch, the site features over 350 publications spanning a diversity of governance innovation areas, including but not limited to:
- Behavioral Science and Nudges
- Citizen Engagement and Crowdsourcing
- Civic Technology
- Data Analysis
- Expert Networking
- Labs and Experimentation
- Open Data
Specifically, OGRX provides:
- A platform for researchers to share findings and methodologies;
- A repository of theoretical and applied research on open and innovative governance techniques and tools;
- A diversity of publication types – from research reports and journal articles to books and dissertations;
- A taxonomy for browsing research by type of innovation, objective, region, sector or tool
- The ability to submit new research for inclusion on the site; and
- A community for those interested and committed to studying the impact of governance innovations and a place for those with research questions to connect to those with projects to study.
The platform is intended to provide value for a number of different users operating at the intersection of technology and governance, such as:
- Researchers, who can stay up to date on new findings and methodological approaches in the field of open governance research; and share their work with an interested, like-minded audience;
- Policymakers, who can learn about what works in governance innovation to the end of applying those lessons in real-world institutions;
- Technologists, who can identify areas where their skills could be applied to the public benefit; and
- Students of policy or technology, who can use the platform to study new ways of solving problems.
The continued expansion and development of site will be informed by submissions from the emerging open governance research community and coordinated by an Editorial Board comprising:
- Andrew Young, The GovLab – Editor-in-Chief
- Tiago Peixoto, World Bank Digital Engagement Evaluation Team – Co-Chair
- Rebecca Rumbul, mySociety – Co-Chair
- Stefaan Verhulst, The GovLab – Co-Chair
- Zeynep Engin, Data for Policy; Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge
- Peter John, University College London
- Sophie Reynolds, Nesta
- Francois van Schalkwyk, World Wide Web Foundation; University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
A variety of partners, including the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance, Arizona State University Center for Policy Informatics, and Centre for Innovation at Leiden University, are also guiding the continued development of the site.
Visit ogrx.org to explore the latest research findings, submit your own work for inclusion on the platform, and share knowledge with others interested in using science and technology to improve the way we govern.