Data and Governance

Information technology has revolutionized our ability to extract patterns from digitized data and use these to monitor everything from our own vital statistics to patterns of public expenditure and development progress. But what happens when the data and the actual phenomenon they represent are disjunct? Or when the data simply do not document economic and social changes of interest? More importantly, how do various parties respond to ambiguities in the \”evidence\” – do they leverage the uncertainty or seek to resolve it? This area of research is still exploratory, but has three components: first, examining the extent of the separation between reality and the map that is used for policy, public investment, and political negotiation; second understanding the political economy of documentation and development of data systems; and third identifying technologies and institutional design that can generate and direct more robust information for policy negotiation and formation.

Recent Writings -

Jessica Seddon at TEDxBonn: Metrics and Maya

Seddon, Jessica (2013). “Speaking of Social Impact,” Skoll World Forum, Debate Series in

“India and the Cloud” in Cowhey and Kleeman, eds. (2012) Unlocking the Benefits of Cloud Computing for Emerging Economies

“Why You Can’t Trust the Facts on India’s Economy,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 29, 2012.

“Beyond the BPL,” Financial Express. February 28,2012

Reading Between the Lines: Seeing the Poor in India, Issue 6 of Prayas, an online magazine. (Guest Editor)

“Urban Interstices: Statistical Advocacy and Urban Infrastructure,” Cityscapes, October 1, 2011.

“User Innovation in eGovernance Design” Working Paper. (with Srikanth Nadhamuni).

“Fire Alarms in Action: Making Sense of Large-Scale User Feedback on City Services in Karnataka,” India Review 9(2).

2008. “Local-Global: Reconciling Mismatched Ontologies in Development Information Systems,” (with Ramesh Srinivasan). Proceedings of the HICSS, January 2009.

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