We develop and test hypotheses about accountability and citizen engagement that contribute to theoretical knowledge and help practitioners learn in real time. Through integrated and sustained collaborations, we work together with practitioners at every stage of the research, from theory building to theory testing. Our projects additionally provide graduate students with the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in designing as well as implementing all stages of original political science research.
In our approach of iterative research, each collaborative project begins with an initial stage of open-ended exploratory field research to generate hypotheses and identify specific mechanisms connecting an intervention or technology to the outcomes our partners seek. Using rigorous social science methods, we then conduct a series of focused investigations and experiments to help practitioners learn which operational and design choices are most effective in particular contexts and to add to social scientific theories of government accountability and citizen engagement.