Working Papers

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    Examining Intersections between Open Government and Nonprofit Advocacy: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives about an Emerging Relationship
    (The International Research Society for Public Management, 2014-04-09) McNutt, John; Justice, Jonathan; Carter, David
    The creation of open and transparent government has long been a goal of reformers, students of democratic institutions and progressives of all stripes. The argument is that a transparent government is more stable, better functioning and enjoys a higher level of support (Justice, McNutt. & Smith, 2011). The International movement toward open government is a major force in public management (Lathrop & Ruma, 2010). While many in the nonprofit sector would support open government (and have actively advocated for it), the function that is most affected is nonprofit advocacy. Advocates can directly benefit from open government. Information is the lifeblood of nonprofit advocacy and much of the information that advocates require is the target of open government programs (see Berry & Arons, 2002; Libby, 2011; Bass, Arons, Guinane & Carter, 2007). This paper will explore the relationship between nonprofit advocacy and policy making and the movement toward open government. We will develop a theoretical model that describes the relationship between the sector in general and nonprofit advocacy in specific, on the one hand, and open government efforts on the other. We will illustrate the model with empirical findings from a recent study of the use of transparency data by advocates in a single state. In this research we surveyed the population on nonprofits that employed a legislative advocate. The study dealt with the use of information by advocates and the utility of open government/transparency resources for improving the quality of advocacy.
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    Predicting Civic Hackathons in Local Communities: Perspectives from Social Capital and Creative Class Theory
    (Presented at the ISTR Conference, Stockholm, 2016-09-04) McNutt, John G.; Justice, Jonathan B.
    The growth of technology-led voluntary efforts has blossomed in the past decades. While some of these are online, others are face to face. Hackathons are a part of the latter group. Volunteers come to work on community problems that involve technology. They are mostly short term face to face events. While they might be considered instances of episodic volunteering, they represent a regular series of volunteering opportunities for others. Hackathons are generally associated with the Civic Technology Movement, which aims at involving citizens, nonprofits and other stakeholders in reinventing government. Civic hacking is a new phenomenon, and the literature is limited. An important issue that has not been explored is why certain communities have hackathons while others do not. In this research effort, we hope to fill that gap in the literature by exploring the following questions: 1) Are there variations among communities in their use of Civic Hackathons to solve community issues? 2) Which factors account for this variation (if any)? Theoretical Framework: To explain this variation we will need to account for differences in community problem-solving and labor-force characteristics. The theoretical framework uses Social Capital Theory (Putnam, 2000) and Creative Class Theory (Florida, 2003). Social capital theory speaks to the participatory nature of community problem solving while Creative Class Theory deals with the nature of the labor force. Methodology: This is cross sectional study using secondary data. The unit of analysis is U.S. counties. The dependent variable is the presence or absence of a Hackathon. The independent variables are an index of social capital and an index of creative class employment. Statistical analysis is accomplished with a generalized linear analysis using logistic regression. Findings: The results suggest that creative class workforce and location in a metropolitan area are better predictors of the location of a Hackathon than social capital.
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    Exploring the characteristics and activities of American Transition initiatives
    (None, 2015-12-12) Sarzynski, Andrea; Barnes, Phillip
    Observers have raised concern over the diversity of the communities participating the Transition Movement (Alloun & Alexander, 2014; Chatterton & Cutler, 2008; Seyfang, 2009). To investigate, the following material examines racial and socioeconomic characteristics of the American communities participating in the international Transition Network, known in the United States as Transition United States (hereafter, TUS). We ask whether the communities housing participating initiatives illustrate less diversity than the typical American community, as has been suggested by prior anecdotal observation, and whether we can group the communities by common characteristics. We also relate these characteristics to selected activities in which the Transition communities were, are planning, or had been participating in as of mid-2014. We ask whether the types of communities are more likely to engage in certain transition activities. The results do not conform to expectations, illustrating substantial variability in the characteristics of the participating Transition communities as well as in the activities that those communities are engaged. The results improve our understanding of the current practice of Transition communities and the communities that they serve.
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    Local Policy Responses to Urban Air Pollution and Ecosystem Stress
    (School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2010-10) Sarzynski, Andrea
    Urbanization is proceeding rapidly across the globe. During the 20th century, the urban population grew from approximately 200 million to 2.9 billion worldwide [1]. By 2030, the United Nations predicts cities will be home to another 2 billion residents [2]. Such rapid growth is likely to have widespread consequences for urban ecosystems, which in some places are already stressed due to changes in land cover; air pollution; local, regional, and global climate; water quality and availability; and biodiversity. Yet, few studies have focused specifically on the influence of urbanization on key ecosystem services, such as the provision of clean water and air. As a result, the implications of coming urbanization for local sustainability efforts remain underdeveloped. The goal of this paper is to map ecosystem stress and response strategies with respect to urban air pollution. To this end, the paper briefly summarizes the conceptual linkages between urbanization, air quality, and ecosystem services. The paper next reviews existing research on areas already stressed by air pollution, compiles predictions regarding future urbanization and its likely air quality impacts, and compiles information regarding locally-adopted sustainability strategies to deal with coming air pollution stress. The paper concludes with a summary of current research gaps and an agenda for future research oriented towards local sustainability efforts
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    Social Networking Choices and Environmental Advocacy Organizations: Implications for Global Social Justice
    (School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2007-11) McNutt, John; Flanagan, Meredith
    This paper reports the results of a national study of social media by a group of large environmental advocacy organizations.A model for technology use was offered and tested.