Tech & Democracy Workshop: Research Design for Policy Questions


Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 4:00pm to 7:00pm


Ash Center Conference Room, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200N, Room 226

Join Fatima Alam, Ash Technology and Democracy Fellow, and a researcher on Google's Trust and Safety team, for a hands-on workshop.


In this session, participants will discuss difficult technology policy issues and brainstorm research questions, methodologies, and data sources to uncover solutions to real-world policy problems. Participants will leave with an understanding of designing for policy research in applied settings. No prior specific policy-area expertise required.

Dinner will be provided.


Registration is required! You can register online here.


Things to Bring: Please bring a charged laptop.


Fatima AlamAbout Fatima Alam

Fatima Alam is a Researcher on Trust and Safety at Google. Previously, as a Public Policy Analyst she advised on cartography and mapping policies, and also on the economic and social value of Internet technologies in emerging markets. She has also worked in Political Risk Analysis. Broadly, her research has involved a deepening interest in the way policy decisions are made in the areas of Science and Technology in democracies around the world, and the various roles played therein by elected representatives, bureaucrats, subject matter experts, civil society, and industry.

Fatima has an eclectic academic background. She read Literature at St. Stephen's College, Delhi; Politics at Trinity College, Cambridge; and International Economic and International Relations at School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

During the Fellowship, she will be exploring how the role of technology for social impact is understood by technologists and policymakers. This is particularly relevant as technologists and policymakers alike realize how culture and politics influence the uses to which a product is put after its launch, and these uses can evolve over months, if not years. Examples range from the role played by Twitter in the Arab Spring to the use of Telegraph by the Islamic State.

Follow Fatima on Twitter: @fatimaalam

The Ash Center's Technology and Democracy Workshop Series are hands-on, cocurricular events designed to help HKS students develop real-world technology skills. Led by a network of technology practitioners, participants spend 3 hours working together and with the workshop leader to learn how to apply technical skills to impact real-word scenarios.