Shifting the Spotlight: Understanding Crowdsourcing Intermediaries in Transparency and Accountability Initiatives
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This report highlights the ideas and practices that underlie the work of crowdsourcing intermediaries: actors who collect and analyse citizen feedback using digital platforms, and use it to support positive change. Most studies of crowdsourcing initiatives in the transparency and accountability field are primarily concerned with representation (whose voice is being heard?) and impact (what kind of change is being supported?).
By contrast, this study shifts the spotlight onto crowdsourcing intermediaries themselves, their motives,and their theories of change and action. Key themes covered in the paper are: the role of crowdsourcing intermediaries as gatekeepers of citizen-generated data; the accountability of crowdsourcing intermediaries to citizens who contribute data, especially in terms of data policies; and the factors that influence the pathways of individual crowdsourcing intermediaries.