Algorithmic decision making in public services: A CSCW-perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Each day the public administration makes thousands of decisions with consequences for the welfare of its citizens. An increasing number of such decisions are supported or made by algorithmic decision making (ADM) systems, yet there is a widespread concern that these algorithms create a 'black box' of embedded bias, lack of human discretion, transparency or trust. For example, ADM is currently tested in public administration in job placement for prediction of a citizen's risk of long-term unemployment. This research project focus on bringing about research on citizens' 'trust' and 'transparency' from a practice-oriented perspective when algorithms are increasingly introduced in public services such as job placement. We propose a study of citizen-government relations to begin to uncover how computational systems and semi-automated decisions affect the relationship between citizens and caseworker, as they work through the collaborative processes around casework. In this context, our question is: What are citizens and caseworkers' different concepts of trust and transparency? How are casework processes affected as we are beginning to see a closer integration between legal guidelines and computational systems in casework? These questions are of huge importance to get a better understanding of how algorithms are changing the ways society makes decisions in core areas of public services in order to inform the responsible design of technologies in areas such as job placement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGROUP 2020 - Companion of the 2020 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work
Number of pages4
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367677
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event21st ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, GROUP 2020 - Sanibel Island, United States
Duration: 6 Jan 20208 Jan 2020


Conference21st ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, GROUP 2020
LandUnited States
BySanibel Island

    Research areas

  • Algorithmic decision making, Casework, Civic participation, Collaborative work, Public administration, Transparency, Trust

ID: 240685961