We're updating our web platform. Check back for new content in the spring.



Follow our latest news, events, and project updates, or subscribe to our newsletter.

Top Five Highlights from 2018

A recap of some of our favorite stories from 2018, featuring musings on trust, evidence use, and the responsibility of political scientists to create a more inclusive and accountable discipline.

Walking the Line: Navigating Tanzania’s Closing Civic Space

Tanzanian civil society organizations walk a tightrope in Tanzania’s increasing hostile political environment. Twaweza’s Risha Chande explained more.

Taxation without Representation? Do International Norms Matter?

Diving into the shallow end – two evidence briefs explore learning questions with relatively scarce evidence

EGAP and MIT GOV/LAB Host Conference on Academic/Practitioner Partnerships

We will be co-presenting with Twaweza on how academics and practitioners can best #partner4evidence.

MIT-Africa Forum and GOV/LAB Present Risha Chande & Joost Bonsen

The MIT-Africa Forum continues on December 5th featuring Risha Chande from Twaweza East Africa and MIT MAS Lecturer Joost Bonsen.

How to create a positive feedback loop between citizens and government? It’s not easy.

We took a look at Accountability Lab’s Citizen Helpdesks in Nepal to understand how the project is working on the ground.

#PBD18: Third Political Behavior of Development Conference at MIT

We are convening a third annual PBD conference with panels and workshops on gender, violence, citizen-coordination, and political behavior. This year we also have a poster session featuring graduate student research.

New Research Scientist Joins the Team

Kelly Zhang, Stanford PhD in Political Science, joins MIT GOV/LAB as a research scientist focusing on civic technology.

Women and the Armed Maoist Struggle in Nepal

Seed grant recipient and PhD student Apekshya Prasai reports back on qualitative research exploring women’s experiences during the Maoist insurgency in Nepal.

Tracking Political Interactions in the Philippines

Political science doctoral candidate Nina McMurry navigates the archipelago, investigating the integration of indigenous communities into the nation's political institutions.

Varja Joins MIT GOV/LAB After Six Years at Twaweza

As GOV/LAB’s first practitioner in residence, Varja Lipovsek will support partner learning in transparency, participation, and accountability.

Deep Dive: Shaping Learning Questions in a Funder Collaborative

How can a funder collaborative engage with evidence to improve grantmaking practice? The first step is to ask the right learning questions.

Hacking Political Science: A Renewed Push for Diversity and Inclusion

Highlights from the Hackathon on Diversity and Inclusion hosted by the APSA Presidential Task Force on Women’s Advancement in Boston.

India Unheard: Community Journalists Turned Activists Take on Rural Issues

Uncut scenes from field work in Jharkhand and Bihar, India and supporting research with Video Volunteers and Professor Gabi Kruks-Wisner (MIT PhD ‘13) from the University of Virginia.

Re-Imagining the Future of Human Rights with Dejusticia

Our partner Dejusticia brought together eighteen young human rights defenders from the Global South to learn new skills, build community, and take a break.

Siena Harlin Joins GOV/LAB

We are excited to welcome our newest Research Support Associate! Read below how Siena’s childhood in Mexico and interest in anthropology led her to political science research at MIT.

Pilot Re-entry Project on Mental Health and Co-occurring Substance Use in Middlesex

PRESS RELEASE: MIT GOV/LAB will serve as a research collaborator to evaluate a pilot re-entry project focusing on mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders with the Middlesex Sheriff's Office.

Mapping Local Government Transparency in the U.S.

Using big data and a machine learning algorithm built from scratch, we’re working to quickly and efficiently grade governments on their openness.

MIT GOV/LAB Digest #1

We launched our first digest to share updates on new research, partner collaborations, and events.

Layered Authority: Beyond Binaries and 'Good Governance'

Report back from the Program on Governance and Local Development’s (GLD) Second Annual Conference at the University of Gothenburg, May 31-June 1, 2018.

Call for Abstracts: MIT GOV/LAB 3rd Annual Political Behavior of Development Conference

We are hosting the third annual Political Behavior of Development Conference (#PBD18) in Cambridge, MA on Friday, November 9, 2018 with a poster session the evening of November 8th.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Joining an MIT-wide movement, GOV/LAB drafted a diversity statement to outline the values that guide our research and how we work with partners.

When Newly Empowered Leaders of the Poor Run in Local Elections

Following up on our Making All Voices Count research, a look at how a newly-trained community leader engaged in recent local elections in the Philippines.

Fostering Learning and Effectiveness through Collaboration: A New Collaborative on Transparency, Accountability, and Participation

MIT GOV/LAB is excited to join the Learning Collaborative as a resource organization working with practitioners on transparency, participation, and accountability.

Funerals: A Communal Affair in Rural Tanzania

MIT GOV/LAB intern Neha Rajbhandary (Wellesley ‘20) explores the significance of funerals in Tanzania through an analysis of qualitative interviews.

Coming Clean, Using Data Science to Address Wrongful Convictions

Bringing together legal strategies and data science, ACLU Massachusetts presented at our seminar series on one of the largest criminal justice scandals in Bay State history.

Drought Detection to Prevention, Applying Data Science to Agriculture Markets

Sara Menker, Founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, spoke as part of our Data Science to Solve Social Problems seminar series.

Professor Lily Tsai Receives MIT Committed to Caring Award

MIT GOV/LAB Faculty Director Lily Tsai named 2017-2018 Committed to Caring Award recipient by graduate students for great mentorship.

Using Virtual Reality to Explore Citizen Cooperation in Lagos

Seed grant recipient and PhD candidate Andrew Miller reports on measuring citizen-police cooperation in Lagos, Nigeria.