Today, The GovLab is releasing a new report examining data and information about population density that can help to create social and economic value. The report, “Where Is Everyone? The Importance of Population Density Data” is the first in a new series of Data Artefact Studies from The GovLab. The piece released today focuses in particular on Facebook’s Population Density Map and several of its implementations to understand promising practices, opportunities, challenges, and risks in the use of population density data more broadly.

The report begins with an exploration of new and traditional approaches to measuring population density, and ways…

This piece was originally published by Adrienne Schmoeker through the Open Data Policy Lab, an initiative by The GovLab and Microsoft to support decision-makers at the local, state and national levels as they accelerate the responsible re-use and opening of data for the benefit of society and the equitable spread of economic opportunity. See the original piece here.

Photo by Laura Ghise on Unsplash

In spite of a global pandemic, cities around the world are continuing to build and scale impactful, effective, equity-driven, and open data infrastructure to support their constituents. At the Open Data Policy Lab we call this work “data innovation.” …

This piece, written by Samantha Lee, was originally published on the #Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge blog, which contains information on a data challenge hosted by l’Agence française de développement (AFD), Expertise France, and The GovLab to support projects that use data to address COVID-19 and its consequences across Africa. To learn more please visit

Clockwise: Stefaan Verhulst (The GovLab), Chinwe Ochu (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control), Francis Obare Onyango (Population Council, Kenya)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant consequences across Africa. Various countries face rising cases, a surge in variants, and a lack of access to vaccines. They also need to handle issues related to individual knowledge of the pandemic and public perception of protective behaviors. …

This blog post was originally published by the MetroLab Network, an international collaborative of 28 cities, 6 counties, and 36 universities focused on civic research and innovation. The author, Garrett Morrow, served as MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020 and the author of the MetroLab Network’s “Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions” series. To learn more and access other posts in the series, check out its first post here or visit the MetroLab Network’s site at

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

I interviewed Andrew Young of GovLab on January 7, 2021 about the group’s recent work, including their AI…

Taiwan, Brazil and also New Jersey are using technology to bring greater citizen input into lawmaking

This article was written by Gopal Ratnam and originally published in Roll Call on April 20, 2021. This is a repost of the original publication.

An activist holds sunflowers and wears a sticker of Taiwan’s national flag on her face in support of the Sunflower Student Movement, which occupied the parliament building in Taipei in 2014. The movement led to the island adopting citizen input votes through mobile phone technology. (AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, New Jersey’s Department of Education launched a citizen engagement process asking students, teachers and parents to vote on ideas for changes that officials should consider as the state reopens its schools after the pandemic closed classrooms for a year.

The project, managed by The Governance Lab at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, is part of a monthlong nationwide effort using an online survey tool called All Our Ideas to help…

By Beth Simone Noveck

This is an excerpt from an entry on CrowdLaw published in the Living Edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Interest Groups, Lobbying and Public Affairs on April 2, 2021. Read the full article here.


CrowdLaw is the practice of using technology to engage the public in lawmaking, including the crafting of regulations, policies, and legislation. …

By Beth Simone Noveck, Dane Gambrell, and Sam DeJohn

A version of this piece appeared in German in The Taggespiegel, March 2, 2021, here.

On February 22nd, the leaders in five cities in Africa — Accra (Ghana), Bahir Dar (Ethiopia), Kampala (Uganda), Kano (Nigeria), and Mutare (Zimbabwe) — announced the 12 winners to the Africa Multi-City Challenge. These cities with support of the United Nations Development Programme and The Governance Lab (our organization) turned to their collective citizens for help in tackling three big challenges: improving waste generation and management, building urban resilience in slums and informal settlements, and growing…

BROOKLYN, New York, Tuesday, February 23, 2021 — Today, The Governance Lab (The GovLab) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering released a report, “The Power of Virtual Communities,” which examines the role online groups play in creating opportunities for people to build new kinds of meaningful communities they often could not form in real space.

This research was built on interviews with 50 Facebook communities, 26 experts from academia and industry, unique access to Facebook’s underlying research and an original global survey conducted by YouGov of 15,000 people in 15 markets who are currently members of online and in-person…

By The GovLab Data Program Team

Image from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on Flickr

It’s been a year that no one will forget. Between devastating Australian bushfires, a global pandemic, the largest economic recession since the Great Depression, the US presidential election, worldwide protests against police brutality, Brexit, a massive explosion in Beirut’s port, wildfires on the US West Coast, and a record-breaking hurricane season (among other developments), this year has seen plenty of world-shifting events.

We’ve tried to learn from these crises and help decision makers meet the immense challenges they face. This work included strengthening the ability of public interest institutions to work more openly, collaboratively…

The GovLab

The Governance Lab improving people’s lives by changing how we govern. @thegovlab @nyutandon #opendata #peopleledinnovation #datacollab

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