VOSS Understanding the Development of Participatory Governance Efforts Using Hybrid Platforms

Project: Research project

Project Details


The NSF OCI/VOSS program has been supporting the science and design of challenge platforms in private organizations and public agencies. Two audiences Office of Cyberifrastructure (OCI) - designing the organizational form to be effective, efficient, and legitimate Social, Behavioral, and Economic sciences (SBE) understanding the behavior of participants over time With this grant, we are proposing a multimethod study exploring 1. How do increasingly sophisticated public behaviors develop over time? a. Within participants alternative viable trajectories for deepening participation b. Within communities more sophisticated and regular activities at the group level 2. Can participants manage participation in open governance structures? a. Lack of understanding b. Overcome network constraints c. Network Inertia 3. What design considerations make for increasingly effective, efficient, and legitimate participatory governance platforms from the perspectives of the participants and the communities and how can success be articulated? a. From institutional perspective i. More innovation ii. Less difficulties iii. More efficient iv. Hybrid communities b. From the participant perspective i. Empowerment ii. Secondary indicators of legitimacy (more activity, better performance, less attrition) iii. Satisfaction with governance iv. Ongoing interactions In the last year, the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Public Affairs and Center for Policy Informatics has been involved with two high profile challenge platforms with a public intent. The first, a university-wide challenge platform called 10,000 Solutions. This platform solicits input from the ASU community to identify solutions to eight broad challenges, ranging from education and technology, to community development and others. The platform is similar to the U.S. General Service Administrations Challenge.gov, a participatory platform that incorporates user contributions to cultivate solutions to challenges in the areas of science, economy, security, and personal wellbeing. Currently, an NSF VOSS grant is supporting the research of this platform. ASUs second challenge platform with a public intent is a collaboration working with the White House Office of Science& Technology Policy to design a national policy proposal competition in response to their Startup America Policy Challenge. Through a network of schools and organizations, The Policy Challenge asks students, faculty, practitioners, 4 and the general public to propose innovative, viable, and actionable plans for administrative change to be implemented at the U.S. Dept. of Education, Energy, or Health& Human Services that will break down barriers to entrepreneurship and best enable the use of new technologies in education, clean energy, and healthcare, respectively. These two platforms complement each other though distinct choices that highlight important design tensions, broad participation vs. informed participants, general vs. specific challenges, same vs. different groups proposing challenges and solutions, and different prizes to motivate participation: a monetary prize vs. the attention of people with influence. Because of their growing importance, it is critical to develop the scientific principles underlying participatory governance in hybrid communities like these.
Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/16


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $399,677.00

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