Developing an Affordance-Practice Framework to Data Practices: How Civic Technologists Practice Data Literacy Cross-Regionally

Alejandro Alvarado Rojas


Data literacy is integral for civic technologists to work with data and develop technologies to affect civic outcomes. However, the techno-civic capacities afforded by data literacy remain understudied because the contexts in which civic technologists learn to work with data vary worldwide. This article advances an affordance-practice framework to characterize and compare the data literacy practices of civic technologists in the Global South and Global North—primarily in India and the United States. Through a thematic analysis of 14 interviews with civic technologists, I argue that data literacy practices are comprised of dimensions including data patchworking, remediating accountability, multimodal communication, and scaling relations. I conclude by discussing the significance of data literacy practices for civic tech and data activism more generally.


affordances, critical data studies, civic technology, cross-cultural practices, data literacy, data activism

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