Does digital technology help or hinder the realization of social justice in government services? Applying theories of distributive justice, we analyzed data from Boston's 311 system (for residents to make requests for non-emergency services) paired with data from the American Community Survey. We found that, as residents used the system's digital channels (website and mobile app) more frequently, the number of requests they submitted increased.
In producing and providing services to local residents, municipal governments increasingly incorporate digital technology into their Information Systems (IS). In these digitally-enhanced government IS, how does digital technology affect social justice in the use and outcomes of the systems? By applying theories of distributive justice and analyzing data collected from Boston's 311 system for residents to request non-emergency services, we have found significant and lasting disparities between wealthy and poor communities in the use of the system's digital channels (mobile app and website).
Higher prevalence of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in black women with associated poor outcomes due to various disparities is well documented within a single state. We examine multiple states to better understand the state effect on such differences in incidence and prevalence of TNBC in black women.
Many cities in the United States use civic technologies like 311 systems as part of their public service systems for monitoring non-emergency civic issues. These systems have enhanced the city's monitoring capability by diversifying communication channels. However, the data created through these systems is often biased because of differences in people's use of technology (i.e., digital divide) and individuals' behavioral patterns in providing types of information to the systems.
The 311 systems that city officials currently deploy can efficiently detect non-emergency civic issues such as potholes and trash. From a socio-technical perspective, residents can re-appropriate the technology for their own purpose adding new capacities and affordances not initially intended. For example, when Hurricane Irma hit Miami in 2017, residents used 311 systems to report disaster-related issues, which led city officials to adapt the system by creating a new category.
Urban renewal was a project of the American government that aimed to reconstruct poor urban neighborhoods. Because community-level data that shows the underlying mechanisms of urban renewal has not been curated in a systematic way, due to the complexity and volume of the relevant archival collections, we aim to digitally curate property acquisition documents from the urban renewal projects that affected the Southside neighborhood of the city of Asheville, North Carolina, in the form of a map-based, interactive web application. This paper reports early findings from interviews.
COVID-19 has killed hundreds of thousands, constituting a major global crisis. Laypeople bear a large burden of responsibility for perceiving risks associated with COVID-19 and taking action to manage risks in their everyday lives, yet epidemic-related information is characterized by uncertainty and ambiguity. People perceive risks based on partial, changing information.
While civic technologies for public issues and services such as 311 systems are widely adopted in many U.S. cities, the impact of the emerging civic technologies and their datalevel dynamics are unclear. Because the provision patterns of civic issues to technological systems are different across neighborhoods and populations, it is difficult for city officials to understand whether the provided data itself reflects civic issues. Also, the disparities in the information provided to civic technologies in different neighborhoods may exacerbate the existing inequality.
Independent business owners often prefer informal information sources to formal ones such as library collections. Part of these preferences is rational because contextual and application-oriented information is usually available from informal sources, which are theoretically the best matches for this kind of information. This suggests that, in addition to outreach strategies, efforts to integrate informal sources of business-relevant information can improve public libraries' ability to support independent business owners' information needs.
Cultural diversity has been conceptualized and studied in diverse ways. On the one hand, cultural diversity can be conceptualized based on people’s ethnic and national backgrounds. On the other hand, cultural dimensions are defined based on individuals' behaviors and traits. Sociologists further categorize the latter depending on the degree of typicality in cultural artifacts/activities and individuals’ omnivorousness over cultural tastes.