Government Transparency of Information

Project Summary

How well and in what ways do governments communicate with their citizens? How do governments analyze data and create visualizations to promote public access to government information? 

Themes and Categories
Year

Project Team

Team Leaders

  • Ken Rogerson, Sanford School
  • Orlin Vakarelov, Philosophy 

Team Members

  • Pimchanok Chuaylua, Political Science 
  • Blaine Elias, Public Policy Studies
  • Nathalie Kauz, Public Policy Studies
  • Lauren Kelly, Public Policy Studies 
  • Tanner Lockhead, Public Policy Studies
  • Melinda McTeigue, Mechanical Engineering
  • Sai Panguluri, Public Policy Studies
  • Angie Shen, Public Policy Studies 

Objectives

  • To explore the normative and theoretical principles underlying the relation between information access and improved governance
  • To develop a sustainable model for analyzing large datasets that relate to public issues
  • To engage Duke students and faculty in Durham community 

Methodology

  • Access the data sets available through Durham City’s websites: Open City Data and Neighborhood Compass
  • Analyze the data sets in the following topics: education, housing, safety and transportation
  • Create data visualizations
  • Advise Durham governmental organization on how to improve the efficiency of public access to governmental information

The impact of our advice, analysis and visualization will be assessed through the improvement of Durham citizens’ access to government information 

Partnership and Outputs

  • Created data visualizations demonstrating performance of Durham public schools
  • Presented the data visualizations to Durham City
  • Advised Durham City to improve its website interface 

Insights

  • Durham City has shown significant improvement on public access to government information through the utilization of technology.
  • The team has gained hands-on experience from analyzing data and communicating with governmental organizations. 

Download the poster presentation (PDF). 

 

Related Projects

In this two-day, virtual data expedition project, students were introduced to the APIM in the context of stress proliferation, linked lives, the spousal relationship, and mental and physical health outcomes.

Stress proliferation is a concept within the stress process paradigm that explains how one person’s stressors can influence others (Thoits 2010). Combining this with the life course principle of linked lives explains that because people are embedded in social networks, stress not only can impact the individual but can also proliferate to people close to them (Elder Jr, Shanahan and Jennings 2015). For example, one spouse’s chronic health condition may lead to stress-provoking strain in the marital relationship, eventually spilling over to affect the other spouse’s mental health. Additionally, because partners share an environment, experiences, and resources (e.g., money and information), as well as exert social control over each other, they can monitor and influence each other’s health and health behaviors. This often leads to health concordance within couples; in other words, because individuals within the couple influence each other’s health and well-being, their health tends to become more similar or more alike (Kiecolt-Glaser and Wilson 2017, Polenick, Renn and Birditt 2018). Thus, a spouse’s current health condition may influence their partner’s future health and spouses may contemporaneously exhibit similar health conditions or behaviors.

However, how spouses influence each other may be patterned by the gender of the spouse with the health condition or exhibiting the health behaviors. Recent evidence suggests that a wife’s health condition may have little influence on her husband’s future health conditions, but that a husband’s health condition will most likely influence his wife’s future health (Kiecolt-Glaser and Wilson 2017).

Stats/Sociology major Mitchelle Mojekwu joined Neuroscience majors Kassie Hamilton and Zineb Jaidi in a ten-week exploration of data relevant to an upcoming public school zone redistricting in Durham County. Using information acquired from the General Social Survey and the US Census, the team applied modern mathematical and statistical methods for generating proposed redistricting plans, with the aim of providing decision-makers with information they can use to produce school districts that are equitable and reflective of the Durham County student population.

View the team's project poster here

Watch the team's final presentation on Zoom:

 

Faculty Lead: Greg Herschlag

Project Manager: Bernard Coles

 

Shannon Houser (Stats/BioChem), Junbo Guan (MIDS), and Gaurav Sirdeshmukh (Stats) spent ten weeks exploring data concerning child and family health in Yolo County, CA. Using R Shiny, the team produced an interactive data dashboard that enables Yolo County residents to find healthcare and childcare providers, food resources, and transportation information.

View the team's project poster here

Watch the team's final presentation on Zoom:

 

Project Lead: Leigh Ann Simmons (UC Davis)