I write these pieces every 6 months. This one will be my ‘about my research’ contribution to the Applied Informatics research community gathering on Wednesday 11 February. (At previous Centre for Social Informatics all-centre gatherings I’ve been incapable of speech by the time it’s my turn to report. But this is mostly because I hate public speaking.) Click this link to see all the pieces in this series.Continue reading
Category Archives: participatory budgeting
What has Bruce been up to in the first half of 2022?
I write these pieces every 6 months, usually for the Centre for Social Informatics’ all-centre meetings. (I’m usually incapable of speech by the time it’s my turn to report.) Click this link to see all the pieces in this series.Continue reading
What has Bruce been up to in the second half of 2021?
I write these pieces every 6 months, usually for the Centre for Social Informatics’ all-centre meetings. (I’m usually incapable of speech by the time it’s my turn to report.) I’m still really miffed that we can’t get together in person. Click this link to see all the pieces in this series.Continue reading
What has Bruce been up to in the first half of 2021?
I write these pieces every 6 months, usually for the Centre for Social Informatics’ all-centre meetings. (I’m usually incapable of speech by the time it’s my turn to report.) I’m still really miffed that we still can’t get together in person. Click this link to see all the pieces in this series. There is a history of my academic work so far on my personal blog. Continue reading
What has Bruce been up to in the second half of 2020?
I write these pieces every 6 months, usually for the Centre for Social Informatics’ all-centre meetings. (I’m usually incapable of speech by the time it’s my turn to report.) Really miffed that we can’t get together in person this time. Click this link to see all the pieces in this series. Continue reading
What has Bruce been up to in the last 6 months?
- The RIVAL network: I’m PA to the ∏, administrator, map-creator, videographer, data-analyst and much more
- IL measures paper: Peter and I are contributing a section to a paper by Gunilla Widen. This will report on the survey of community councillors, and how (not to) measure workplace information literacy.
- marking: some marking of students’ placement reports.
- information avoidance in diabetes: because I don’t want to know about my diabetes, but because I do want to know why this is. And I want to to help others with this bad combination, and to maybe generate some theory!
- SFC GCRF map. This is to create a web map of SFC-funded GCRF projects. Draft version is here: http://bruceryandontexist.net/SFC/VA42-2019_11_19/. <insert moan about administrivia>
- Failure: REDACTED
- Still minutes secretary and web-weaver for 3 Edinburgh community councils
- But I’ve worked out how to cut down on the hours while still doing what they want.
- £eithChooses PB event: publishing, IT, web, admin…
- Community Councils Together on Trams: minutes and asking important impertinent questions
- Failure: I didn’t cease smoking. Instead Varenicline made me vomit.
PB Scotland Conference 2019 #PBConf19
As with many of my posts, the following is based on my tweets from the event. For other views, you might search Twitter for #PBConf19 (but watch out for tweets about a pharmacy conference using the same hashtag) or go to PB Scotland’s website. This also has mini-biographies of the speakers and information about the workshops.
Asides and Bruce-thoughts at the time of tweeting are usually in (round brackets). Extra text added while writing this post is in [square brackets].
NB the content of photos of slides and similar is all © their creators or other relevant ©-holders.
Bruce of all trades
My personal side has been blowing his trumpet:
Read more at https://bruceryandontexist.info/2019/10/31/bruce-of-all-trades/
What has Bruce been up to in the first half of 2019?
|When||What||outcome and notes|
|December to early January||marking Work-based learning mid-year reports||Success: Marking was done, including handling students’ queries, and writing and delivering a presentation on how I will mark final reports.|
|January||PB in Brazil: whether and how PB benefits the very poor in Sao Paulo||work on a paper was stalled for ages. It took until late June to get a focus-group transcribed. Translation is to follow…|
|February to May||running WriteNow! sessions on Wednesday afternoons||
|February onwards||RIVAL: 4 networking events in 2019-2020 for Library and Information Scientists and practitioners||See project website for details.|
|March onwards||GCRF map/database The Scottish Funding Council wants a map of all of the GCRF projects it funds. Image of possible look-and-feel is here||awaiting contract-signature|
|February, May||Internal examiner for 3 BIT MSc students||All three passed. (Credit belongs to the students and their supervisors!)|
|April-May||Writing RFC funding applications||
|May||Marking Computing in Contemporary Society courseworks||Work was done.|
|June||Marking Work-based learning final reports||work in progress|
|January onwards||minuting meetings between Community Councils Together on Trams and Edinburgh Council’s Trams Team||better citizen-involvement?|
|September 2018 onwards||member of £eith Chooses steering group||Success! See website. Survey on possible improvements due to close soon.|
|since time immemorial||minutes and websites for three Edinburgh community councils: Leith Central, Leith Harbour & Newhaven, New Town & Broughton||Success, I think: better recording and publicising of hyperlocal government activities|
|ongoing||taking part in various democracy events, e.g. practical democracy project, Democracy Alive||Some better understanding of what various bodies are doing to improve democracy. I’m not sure how effective they will be, or what my role should be.|
Initial lessons for Scottish PB (updated)
This is an update of a post from my first week in São Paulo, with input from my much better half. Mistakes of course are my fault, not hers.
- If we don’t get PB right first time, people will lose confidence in it.
- In this lesson, right can be replaced with good enough, because nothing is perfect, and Scotland is just learning to do PB.
- This lesson means we need effective processes so that people know they have made the choices.
- It also means that what is promised must be delivered near enough on time and near enough on budget.
- This should happen in any context, no matter how much (or how little) money is involved.
- We can argue about what near enough means at appropriate points.
- Projects must be monitored as they proceed.
- Also, due diligence/monitoring must happen at the end of project periods.
- And that data must be analysed to see what is effective.
- There should also be the possibility of discontinuing projects if it turns out that they are unlikely to be delivered, or if the benefits can be delivered in better ways, or if an urgent need arises for the money allocated to the project.
- But this must be done transparently, and must not even appear to be party-political.
- Don’t rely on revenue forecasts, because what is forecast may not materialise!
- Annual cycles, i.e. projects that must be started and completed in a year, may be sub-optimal.
- LeithChooses’ 2018 turnout (1000/20,000 = 5%) is good.
- Around the world, participation is not very high, even when there are fantastic mechanisms such as Madrid: https://decide.madrid.es/presupuestos?locale=en
- The current Scottish model of PB should have a deliberation stage before projects are formulated.
- At the moment, PB process-runners (e.g.LeithChooses steering group) set themes, then invite projects.
- The Brazilian model involves participatory deliberation on what the themes should be.
- There should be some data gathered on who participates.
- This is to show whether PB schemes are truly participatory, and whether they attract votes from people who need the services PB would offer.
- Don’t build up an unhelpful bureaucracy around PB.
- This may lead to clashes between parts of the bureaucracy that support different aims and objectives.
- While spending money to create and perfect process is valid, wasting it on un-neccessary process is invalid, and puts people off the work.