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Title: Democratising data science : effective use of data by communities for civic participation, advocacy and action
Authors: Puussaar, Aare
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: We live in an age of data, where it is being collected and archived in tremendous volumes and at great velocity. Smart cities are a good example of how we generate and use data with the aim of improving the lives of citizens. Cities adopting more technologies and embedding them in the physical fabric of the city will drastically change the way decisions are made in the city, in addition to the way citizens interact with the city. Research to date has predominantly focused on engineering agendas or has narrowly focused on citizens’ participation as passive producers of data in the smart city. This thesis takes a more holistic approach by focusing on both the engineering problem-solving agenda and community problem-solving activities. Taking a participatory research approach, the thesis explores such a context through three case studies that involve the design, development and analysis of two Community Informatics (CI) systems. In addition to producing two open-source CI technologies (SenseMyStreet and Data:In Place) for active citizen participation, this study posits a Citizen Advocacy Framework and Community-Data Interaction (CDI) model as novel theoretical framings that enable researchers to discuss and design for the effective use of data by communities. Furthermore, this thesis provides a practical example of the use of CDI for supporting communities to take local action. This improved understanding of the relationship between data and communities demonstrates a better direction for future research and the design of CI technologies as they work towards democratising data science and enabling the effective use of data by communities for active civic participation, advocacy and action.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Engineering

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