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The Third Sector and Online Citizen Empowerment: the Case of mySociety

December 06, 2016 by Rachel Gibson, Marta Cantijoch, Silvia Galandini

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This report is the culmination of a year-long study of the users of mySociety websites. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester as part of an Economic and Social Research Council funded grant project. The main goal of the study was to better understand how individuals use and can benefit from four main mySociety sites in terms of resolving personal, community or wider societal issues and problems. A key supporting aim was to develop a transparent and replicable set of tools for measuring the impact of these sites that would help to develop a ‘best practice’ for mySociety and other ‘e-democracy’ organizations in evaluating their societal impact. The report provides a summary of the work we undertook, including a description of its wider social and academic significance and the key findings we produced. It also presents detailed description of how we conducted the research and the innovative combination of methodologies that were used to answer the central questions posed.