Toward Equitable Participatory Design: Data Feminism for CSCW amidst Multiple Pandemics

Catherine D’Ignazio, Erhardt Graeff, Christina N. Harrington, and Daniela K. Rosner. 2020. Toward Equitable Participatory Design: Data Feminism for CSCW amidst Multiple Pandemics. In Conference Companion Publication of the 2020 on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ’20 Companion). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 437–445.



CSCW, like many other academic communities, is reckoning with its roles, responsibilities, and practices amidst 2020’s multiple pandemics of COVID-19, anti-Black racism, and a global economic crisis. Reviewing our work with data and communities demands we address harms from overexposure caused by surveillance or algorithmic bias and from underexposure caused by design that is insufficiently participatory and equitable. This workshop will elicit narratives of good and bad design and data work with communities, apply the lenses of equitable participatory design and data feminism to current CSCW projects and our global context, and develop practical outputs for supporting academics and practitioners in pursuit of democratic and just partnerships.

Holding Civic Tech Accountable for Civic Learning

Presentation Recording



We should optimize the design of civic technologies for developing effective citizens; I argue we must put civic and political learning at the core of how we evaluate civic technology’s impact. This will require new definitions and measures that capture the complexity and needs of contemporary, digitally-mediated democracy.

In this talk, I will propose a research agenda for civic learning including definitions, measures, and design goals for our community to explore.

Recent work by Bennett (2007) and Cohen and Kahne (2012) has helped push scholar and practitioner communities to understand how citizens, especially younger generations, are changing in their civic goals and practices—often using social media to consume and share political information, express their voices, and organize civic and political communities. Unfortunately, we lack a definition and operationalization of how “users” grow into the citizens contemporary democracies need. Research should be attempting to tie designs holistically to gains in targeted skills, experience, and self-efficacy.

We must develop and validate measures for civic learning by combining rich qualitative understanding with trace data to evaluate users’ civic trajectories as they explore tools and platforms; and these must scale as large as Facebook and across the diverse contexts in which users are embedded world-wide.