The Future of Promise Tracking

19th Mar 2018 | Jordan Urban and Adam Feldman

The Future of Promise Tracking is an in-depth report which examines Promise Tracking from first principles and builds towards recommendations on how a high-quality Promise Tracker can be built in the UK. Many of these recommendations will be pertinent to Promise Trackers in other political contexts.

We spent the last three months of 2017 interning at Full Fact. This project was born towards the beginning of that time, in September 2017. We decided that alongside our work contributing towards the automated factchecking project, it would be useful to produce a research project based on our experiences as co-founders of govtracker.co.uk. There is a lack of information about Promise Tracking in the public domain, and we believed it would be valuable to put our own thoughts on paper for anyone to access in order to spark debate about this important topic.

At the outset of this project we critically evaluated a number of publically available Promise Trackers, including our own. Based on this, we came up with a number of recommendations, which are all present in the report.

We hope that this report is of use to all who are considering producing, or improving upon, a Promise Tracker. We do not claim to have definitive answers, but believe that the ideas present in this paper merit close examination. We hope that they start conversations across the world, and particularly in the UK, about best practice in the field of Promise Tracking. 

Overview

This report is split into three sections:

  • Part One - What is a Promise Tracker?
  • Part Two - Why make a Promise Tracker?
  • Part Three - A blueprint for the UK, and ideas for the world

The report can be summarised as follows:

  • Promise tracking is a worthwhile endeavour that contributes to democracy in a number of ways.
  • Promise Trackers can provide significant positive value to democracy as an educational tool, engaging and informing citizens.
  • At its most effective, Promise Tracking is non-partisan.
  • Using the blueprint set out in this paper, a high-quality Promise Tracker can be created in the UK.
  • Many of the questions we raise and potential solutions we give are also applicable in an international context.

 

Read the Full Report

 

Please get in touch with us if you have any comments, questions, or observations about the report. Similarly, we would be delighted to talk to you if you are considering making a Promise Tracker in the UK. To contact us, send an email jointly addressed to mevan@fullfact.org. We will get back to you. 


We aim for our factchecks to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you think we've made an error or missed some relevant information, please email team@fullfact.org.