A Rough, Transparent, Draft of my PhD Thesis

Matt Marshall

Chapter 1 - Introduction #notes

Background and Context

Section outlining broad thesis goals


Why Charities?

Why Accounting?

This section outlines why the focus of this thesis has been in investigating and developing accounting technologies, and how that situates the research in relation to the scope of impact.

Why Technology at all?

Research Questions and contributions

This section outlines each research question, with sub-sections for each question. Each sub-section will draw out the contributions of the thesis as they relate to the question.

Q1: How are the financial practices and transparency obligations of a charity manifested in daily workplace practices?

Q2: In what ways could digital systems represent the financial practices of a charity, in keeping with their obligations to the public and their stakeholders?

Q3: How can a system capture and represent the work of a charity through its financial data and other data, in order to facilitate its accountability to the public and its stakeholders?

Q4: In what ways can a digital system be configured to allow charities and stakeholders to interactively commission frames of data around work and spending, to produce narratives which may stimulate a dialog?

Thesis Structure

This thesis is structured much like most within HCI. It starts with situating my research, outlining my methods and practices used to organise the research itself, provides empyrical accounts of findings from design processes, and finally draws together these to produce contributions to the field.

The thesis proper starts in Chapter 2 where we situate the importance of this work in the realms Charities, Transparency, and Accountabiliy; and explore the terminology used to situate the thesis. Towards the end of the chapter we explore interactions between human beings and data and draw conclusions about the investigation and designs required to properly utilise data technologies in Charities.

Chapter 3 is, much like many theses, dedicated to exploring the methods and orientations utilised to organise, perform, and derive value from the research. I situate the organisation of the research as a Workplace Study, and lean on studies of Work Practice and User-Centred design to explain the methods. Some attention is paid to epistemology, as a Marxist stance to analysis is introduced to situate the exploration of values in design later in the thesis.

Chapters 4, 5, and 6 present empyrical accounts of work. Chapter 4 presents an ethnographic study of Work Practice of a small charity, illustrating how work is organised and drawing conclusions for the design of technologies that may operate in this space. Chapter 5 presents an account of the design of these technologies (both the how and the what) based on these findings. It is significantly more technical than other the other empirical chapters. Chapter 6 presents an account of the deployment and evaluation of the technologies described in Chapter 5, drawing conclusions about the designs’ fitness for purpose and exploring further implications.

Chapter 7 presents the familiar metadiscussion of the findings. It critiques the technologies used alongside the methods used to design them, grounding this in the performance of HCI work within the “civic” space.

I finish in Chapter 8 by reflecting on

Methods Outline

This is a short section designed to brief the reader at a very high level what sort of data and analysis they should expect to see in the thesis. Work Place studies, Ethnographic techniques, and orientation to analysis are briefly touched upon.