Category: Research & Writing

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An Impact Assessment of Advocacy Videos

Last month I created an assessment for an international foundation on the impact of their video grants.  The assessment (below) includes analysis and visualization of how 37 grantees used video in their advocacy work, and the effects of that use. For this project I first analyzed grantee self-reports on how they were using video.  I then developed a model comparing… Read more →

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How Donors Can Support Social Movements

In this qualitative research and analysis piece, created for a donor collaborative called the Transparency & Accountability Initiative, I found that the best way to support social movements is to fund close to the grassroot.  This means: Grassroots organizations can be identified by a range of indicators, all of which demonstrate that those directly affected by an injustice are empowered to change… Read more →

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Research Report: Digital Activism and Nonviolent Conflict

I founded the Global Digital Activism Data Set (GDADS) project in 2011 with members of the Meta-Activism Project to create a stronger empirical foundation for claims about digital activism around the world.   The second version of the GDADS, on which this report is based, contains 426 digital activism campaigns from 100 countries and dependent territories,  ranging from 2010 through 2012, coded according to… Read more →


Book: Digital Activism Decoded

Digital Activism Decoded: The New Mechanics, for which I was editor and co-author, was published in 2010.  It is available for sale on and as a free PDF through the Open Society Foundations, which published the book through its iDebate Press. Other books have preceded this one in exploring the intersection of digital technology and activism. There have already been… Read more →

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Research Report: Digital Activism Survey Report

This report, co-written with Kate Brodock and Timo Zaeck in 2009 for the (now defunct) Research@DigiActive project is the first attempt to collect international demographic data on the new group we call “digital activists”.  Key findings on the sample of 122 survey responses include the following: Gender: Outside North America, male respondents outnumbered female respondents by a margin of 7… Read more →

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Research Report: Online Citizen Journalism and South Korea’s 2002 Election

This report, written in 2007 for the Internet & Democracy Project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, details the role of the citizen journalism web site OhMyNews on the 2002 presidential election in South Korea. In this historic election, online activists, aided by platforms like OhMyNews, were instrumental in bringing the progressive outsider Roh Moo-Hyun to… Read more →

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Research Report: Prospects for e-Advocacy in the Global South

This report, written for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on behalf of Res Publica, explores how NGOs in the global south are using ICTs for advocacy and suggests interventions for the Gates Foundation. The report includes an overview of the challenges for digital activists in the global south, followed by different digital advocacy models, and recent innovations in the… Read more →

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Manual: Blog for a Cause! The Global Voices Guide to Blog Advocacy

I wrote this guide back in 2007 for Global Voices Advocacy and, despite the rather intense color-scheme, I am still really proud of it. The guide explains how activists can use blogs to fight against injustice.  Because blogs are a quick and inexpensive way to create a presence on the Internet, disseminate information about a cause, and organize actions to lobby decision-makers,… Read more →

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Manual: The Election Blogging Guide

This is the first digital activism guide I ever created, back in 2006.  I wrote it with Solana Larsen, former editor of Global Voices, and Zephyr Teachout, the Director of Online Organizing for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign who recently threw her hat in the ring to be governor of New York. The guide’s quite impressive too.  It explains how blogs can… Read more →

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Research Report: Morocco Raises its Voice

Before I was interested in digital activism I was interested in civil society, particularly the grassroots hardscrabble kind.  This report, written under the auspices of a Fulbright grant, analyzes the young field of political non-profits made possible through liberalization under Morocco’s new King Mohammed VI. The report, which is the result of a year’s worth of interviews with Moroccan civil society… Read more →