Digital Civil Society Lab

Research

Research Projects

How We Give Now: Philanthropy by the Rest of Us

The How We Give Now research project engages individuals and groups in a reflective discussion about all the ways they direct their private resources for public benefit, beyond what is traditionally captured in official giving data.

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Mapping the Policy Infrastructure of Digital Civil Society

This research project investigates how digital public policy implicates civil society in democracies and how to strengthen, expand and diversify the practical connections between civil society support organizations and digital policy experts.

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Open Source Projects as Critical Digital Infrastructure

This research project explores the legal definition of critical digital infrastructure as it relates to open source projects, and investigates the values, methods, and funding relationships of groups that build these projects. 

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Technical Intuition in Philanthropy and Civil Society

This project aims to understand pathways to technical intuition, build and test instruments that can accelerate technical intuition development, and explore scalable development of technical intuition by non-technical audiences.

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Regulatory Sandboxes in FinTech for Financial Inclusion

This project will produce a policy white paper exploring “regulatory sandboxes” in a U.S. context for emerging technologies aimed at promoting financial inclusion.

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OpenArchive for Civil Society

This project aims to develop the next phase of OpenArchive, a free and open-source mobile application that routes mobile media to user-created collections in an accessible public trust.

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A Framework for Data Trusts

This project proposes to answer questions about the creation of trusts and ideas of mutual benefit for data trusts as used by civil society organizations. Can CSO data trusts benefit the public?

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Coding Caring: Human Values for an Intimate AI

The research project aims to advance our understanding of the interactions between human values and these powerful emerging technologies, and to inform the debates about what role Al can and should play in caregiving.

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Digital Technology and Democratic Theory

The goal of this three-part workshop and publication series is to examine the meaning and implications of the growing role of digital technology in democratic institutions.

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#GivingTuesday Data Collaborative

With the amount and diversity of giving data available from #GivingTuesday, the leadership team set out to learn more about the drivers behind it, the behaviors around it, and what might inspire more of it.

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Privacy Patterns

The Privacy Patterns project aims to increasing awareness around privacy issues associated with the collection, use and disclosure of personal data, combined with the lack of guidance or regulation for civil society organizations.

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Digital Security Exchange

Josh Levy, Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab, built the Digital Security Exchange to connect U.S. civil society organizations with digital security experts.

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Democratic Design for Digital Publics

In order to understand and reimagine political structures, process, and associational life, we must simultaneously critique and reconsider our communications tools.

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Nonprofit Data Governance

Networked digital data has inspired an exciting era of innovation. But the reality for most civil society organizations is that governing these resources safely, ethically and effectively is an extreme challenge.

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Trusted Data Intermediaries

A key obstacle to unleashing the social benefits of digital data involves the development of trusted intermediaries for sharing and aggregating data. Many variations on “trusted data intermediaries” have emerged in the last decade.  

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Enabling Great Employee Engagement

How can companies engage their employees in smarter, more informed charitable giving? With new data sets, online volunteering and information sources, and ever-more networking tools, there are many opportunities to experiment with employee giving programs. 

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Philanthropy in Democratic Societies

This book project brought together expert philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, and legal scholars to ask fundamental and pressing questions about philanthropy’s role in democratic societies.

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Ethical Data Review Processes

In an age when data and communications infrastructure undergird everything we do, many nonprofits and civil society organizations are seeking ways to responsibly govern the data they collect from, by, and of the communities they serve.

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Ethics of Data

Digital data – from remote sensors, research, communications tools, donated human tissue and other sources – are becoming a key resource for social change in a number of settings. Using data well and ethically requires new skills, new thinking, and new codes of practice.  

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Private Resources for Public Purpose

Individuals have at least four distinct ways to use their private financial resources for public purpose. We track these revenue flows separately and rarely consider the intersections and dynamics between them.

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