Data for Social Good: Campaign Data & Integrated Voter Engagement

The United States has the lowest electoral participation rates of any advanced industrialized country. Over the past decade, community organizations interested in making U.S. politics more participatory have adopted an integrated voter engagement (IVE) model, an approach predicated on the idea that political engagement happens most effectively through long-term relationship-building during and between electoral cycles.

Campaign data infrastructure, however, is not designed to provide the data support and analytics necessary to make an IVE strategy effective, particularly for groups working to engage diverse voters. Through the development of a new open-source data system (called Data for Social Good (DSG)) for California voters, this project will address this need, allowing organizations to maximize and increase their civic engagement efforts over time.

The DSG project includes three parts: (1) designing and creating an open-source data architecture to house the voter data that is compatible with VoteCal (the statewide data system) and other customer relationship management systems (CRMs); (2) developing demographic flags and other data enhancements to provide more robust data to clients; and (3) developing a mobile app that can be used by organizers in the field as they engage target voters.


Principal Investigator: Lisa García Bedolla, Professor, Education and Political Science, UC Berkeley

Lead Design Researcher and Engineer: Dr. Cristhian Parra, Postdoc, Social Apps Lab, UC Berkeley; Research and Development Engineer, Inria