MFG Archive

Civic Crowdsourcing 101

As President Obama takes to SXSW to encourage techies to join government, we need to ask not only how technology can improve democracy, but how democracy must shape civic technology.

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What 7,000 Patients Say

  As of this month, 7,000 patients have been funded on Watsi.   Some patients and their families wait years for healthcare. When they finally have the opportunity to receive treatment, what do they say? When a patient seeks care, a doctor interviews them and their family about the patient’s life, medical history, and expectations […]

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The Trials and Tribulations of Data Visualization for Good

  “I love big data.  It’s got such potential for storytelling.”  At DataKind, we hear some version of this narrative every week.  As more and more social organizations dip their toes into using data, invariably the conversation about data visualization comes up. There is a growing feeling that data visualization, with its combination of “engaging […]

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The New Social Calculus – minimize risk and maximize gain

  For a long time, nonprofits and foundations have been seeking to improve outcomes. Getting there requires all kinds of new measurement schemes, thus the last two decades have brought us talk of social return on investment, quality-adjusted life years, and many other calculations.   I think it’s time we recognize we’re operating with a […]

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Ebola: A Big Data Disaster

Released this month, the study “Ebola: A Big Data Disaster,” written by Sean McDonald with the support of the Open Society Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Media Democracy Fund, leaves no stone unturned as it explores the use of Big Data in the form of Call Detail Record (CDR) data in humanitarian crises. This study raises […]

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A Quest To Incorporate Quantitative Data Into Qualitative Storytelling: Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco’s Experience

  We’ve seen the headlines: the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing a serious housing crisis. As of August 2015, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties had median home prices of $1.35 million, $1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively. A buyer in these three counties would need to make between $230,000 to $270,000 annually […]

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5 Articles That Highlight the Importance of Open Data

To celebrate Open Data Day, we revisit five articles from years past that are still relevant to conservations surrounding open data.

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Knight Prototype Fund invests in 11 new projects that unlock the power of data

Hot on the heels of the Knight News Challenge, the Knight Foundation is continuing to prove their dedication to the world of data by announcing the 11 projects that will receive funding through the Knight Prototype Fund. In fact, nine of the projects were also winners of the Knight News Challenge on Data. The Knight […]

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No numbers without stories, no stories without numbers

  Philanthropoids, donors and nonprofit leaders want (and use) data for different reasons. Philanthropoids and donors hope to compare options and allocate investments while nonprofit leaders hope to learn and prove impact using data. But in all cases, the data they seek needs to tell a story and have a narrative in order to provide […]

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MWC 2016: Facebook uses AI to map people’s homes

  Facebook has been busy at work using artificial intelligence software to map global populations by scanning satellite imagery for human-built structures. The plan is to use (and share) the data to determine the best placement for internet-beaming drones, they also believe, “this data has many more impactful applications, such as socio-economic research and risk […]

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