Sauntering in São Paulo

Saturday 2019_01_19 (update)

So I did go out to try to sample São Paulo night life.
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Slobbing in São Paulo

Tuesday 2019_01_15

As predicted, I’ve been slaving over a hot laptop all of today. There was an amount of administrivia to do. This wasn’t helped by the University’s VPN being very slow, and something deleting a calendar invitation to all researchers at Merchiston.

This may have happened as I was trying several alternatives to using Outlook via the VPN. It turns out that Outlook for Mac 2011 doesn’t sync with my university calendar well (or at least not quickly enough). Nor does Thunderbird. And the current freely available version of Outlook for Mac doesn’t work on my MacBook Air (early 2015 13″, running MacOS 10·13·6.) I refuse to pay a subscription for Office365. (A one-off purchase would be acceptable to me.)

The rest of the day was spent refining interview questions and focus-group questions. I can’t shake the feeling that this should be a quick process. However, logically, it takes time to work out what should be asked, then even longer to work out how it should be asked to avoid ambiguities.

Ah well, time to relax with a beer and for my personal side to blog about Brexit. Nighty-night!

Sauntering in São Paulo

Tuesday 2019_01_08

Jet-lag grabbed me this morning. In the afternoon, while rain flooded some areas of São Paulo, I read and made notes on Brian Wampler‘s Participatory budgeting in Brazil: contestation, cooperation and accountability. This book examines PB in 8 Brazilian cities, including São Paulo, but was published in 2007. A few things have happened since then…

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Sweltering in São Paulo

Sunday 2019_01_06

I spent most of today working on a presentation. One of our partners, Leandro Ramos, has contacted the relevant department of São Paulo’s city administration. It turns out they are very keen to hear how participatory budgeting (PB) works in Scotland. This is great, because

  1. I’m involved in setting up and running this year’s LeithChooses PB process, and so can speak from some experience of how a small group of dedicated, unpaid volunteers are working together to run and improved version of a civic process.
  2. We can hear from some people who know how PB in São Paulo really works.

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What has Bruce been up to in the second half of 2018?

Napier

# When What outcome and notes
1 July RIVAL: community event on the theme of LIS research impact:

success!
Also enabled further funding application (line 5)
2 July applying for GCRF funding for PB in Brazil success!
See line 7
3 July marking work-based learning 2017-18 final reports ——-
4 September Drafting an idea for some public engagement/democracy work to revisit in 2019
5 September RSE funding application to follow up RIVaL: RIVaL network success!
Work to start in Feb 2019
6 October marking work-based learning 2018-19 initial reports ——-
7 October to present PB in Brazil: whether and how PB benefits the very poor in Sao Paulo Bruce going to Sao Paulo 4 to 27 Jan, Wegene 4 to 13 Jan LitRev in progress
builds on CSI’s relationship with University of Sao Paulo
8 November marking BSAD coursework 1 ——-
9 November application for RIO funding to run WriteNow! writing sessions in 2019 success!
working with Frances
10 December marking work-based learning 2018-19 mid-year reports ——-
11 December marking BSAD coursework 2 ——-

Question

Could I offer a short course or other help to students’ improve their report-writing skills?

Elsewhere

12 July contribution to 2018 Digital Governance in Municipalities Worldwide: A Longitudinal Assessment of Municipal Websites Throughout the World fancy certificate of thanks
13 July to present minuting meetings between Community Councils Together on Trams and Edinburgh Council’s Trams Team better citizen-involvement?
14 September Taking part in a follow-up to research by the Scottish Community Development Centre on community councils. led to involvement in draft PB charter
15 September to present member of £eith Chooses steering group voting Saturday 23 February 2019
16 October, November further participation in Scottish Government (SG) Online Identity Assurance stakeholder group

TBC
17 November participation in debate/research on governance of and possible new powers for community councils TBC
18 December commenting on Scottish Government draft Open Government Action Plan appreciated by SG
19 December participation in Scottish Government/CoSLA event on mainstreaming participatory budgeting. Write-up of event is in a set of posts starting here TBC
20 all year minutes and websites for three Edinburgh community councils:

better recording and publicising of hyperlocal government activities

‘Mainstreaming Participatory Budgeting’ event, #PBmainstream

The content of these posts has now been moved here: https://bruceryan.info/resources/mainstreaming-participatory-budgeting-event

Individual pages can be accessed via these links:

  1. Tweets of anticipation and excitement
  2. Welcome and overview of the day: Oliver Escobar
  3. The Scottish context – local governance review and public service reform: Professor James Mitchell
  4. Evidence to date: Dr Angela O’Hagan
  5. Q&A with James Mitchell and Angela O’Hagan
  6. Examples of PB mainstreaming
  7. Group discussions: Mainstreaming PB is a transformation, not a process. What do we need to do to ensure it is a success? Anthony Zacharzewski (Democratic Society)
    • What is needed for councils [and other public bodies] to transform internally?
    • What is needed for communities to be ready to participate?
    • What us needed to create strong and trusted processes and spaces?
  8. Plenary session: Way forward: what will we commit to get from here to our ambition?
    (Tweets from this item are in the previous section.)
  9. Closing remarks: Claire McPherson (Scottish Government)

Online Identity Assurance: from the ScotGov blog

Following on from my last post about Online Identity Assurance, this post is to draw attention to a couple of posts on the Scottish Government Digital blog:

I’m pleased to see in the first of these posts

The first stream will be about developing two end-to-end journeys, taken by people using services, that can be shown to work as a ‘proof of concept’. One will centre on the process of applying for a Child Disability Living Allowance – a benefit that will become the responsibility of the new Scottish social security system in 2020 – with the other relating to the process of applying for the single occupant Council Tax deduction offered by local authorities.

because that implies to me that SG is taking a sensible ‘suck it and see’ approach, rather than trying for a Big Bang that ends up full of issues.

The second of these posts announces that videos of the presentations at the October Stakeholder Group meeting. Here’s the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N37xoD04YTM.

And here’s looking forward to more interesting developments in 2019!

Online Identity Assurance stakeholder meeting: 31 October 2018

Being involved, no matter how tangentially, with the Scottish Government’s work on online identity assurance (OIA) is important to me for at least five reasons.

  1. I want government to be efficient, and that means using digital techniques when possible and rational.
  2. While pursuing that aim, government must pay great heed to privacy and security. This is mostly because government has (in theory) great power to do good and do harm. (NB I do not believe that the current SG intends to do harm.)
  3. There will always be people who cannot use digital techniques. This may be because  they don’t know how just now. This may be because they will always lack the mental capacity to know how. This may be because they do not wish to learn how: either they see nothing in it for them, or the potential gains are not worth the time and money outlays for them. And of course it may be because they don’t have a roof over their heads, let alone expensive internet devices.
  4. I’m a social informatics researcher, so anything in the interfaces between IT and society interests me.
  5. My particular research niche is IT in hyperlocal democracy, and there are explicit links between identity and the right to vote. 

The first OIA stakeholder event I attended (March 2018) is written up here. The second (19 June) is written up here.

For the 3rd event (31 March), I used a different tactic – I live-tweeted as well as I could, then collected tweets and other snippets using Wakelet. (This is a successor to Storify, recommended by the fab Leah Lockhart on advice from Ross McCulloch.)

So, so long as Wakelet permits it, my OIA wakelet is here. Comments are very welcome!