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Seminar: Mobilizing Digital Tools for Academic Research: The State Funding for Social Movements Project
February 18 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
A seminar by Moore Institute Visiting Fellow, Prof Dominique Clément, University of Alberta
The State Funding for Social Movements research team brings together scholars from universities across Canada in history, political science and sociology. Our team has developed an innovative new database (database.statefunding.ca) and digital archive that lists grants from governments in Canada to non-governmental organizations since 1960. Our project demonstrates, among other things, how digital tools enable small teams of scholars to collect immense amounts of data using modest resources. At the same, it raises important methodological questions around the viability of such projects, the availability of university resources, and the applicability of digital technologies to certain research topics.
Our project has produced a new resource that will benefit policy-makers, community organizations, and researchers. It aims to help the non-profit sector by:
- (a) synthesizing and mobilizing best practices for digitizing and processing documents;
- (b) creating data dissemination strategies;
- (c) providing information on how to obtain data from governments; and
- (d) creating websites and open-access databases that are relevant to policy-makers and community organizations.
Policy makers will also benefit from this resource. There is no framework for organizing or sharing data on funding for non-governmental organizations in Canada. Even current data is so poorly organized (and sometimes not digitized) that ministries or cities lack a coherent picture of their own current or past practices. Our online portal will provide a forum to compare data across jurisdictions.
Dominique Clément is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta and a member of the Royal Society of Canada (CNSAS). He is an internationally recognized authority and Canada’s leading expert on the history of social movements and human rights. He is the author of Canada’s Rights Revolution, Equality Deferred, Human Rights in Canada and Debating Rights Inflation. Clément has been a Visiting Scholar in Australia, Belgium, China, Ireland and the United Kingdom. His websites, HistoryOfRights.ca and statefunding.ca, serve as research and teaching portals on the study of human rights and social movements.