PhD midway seminar: Gro Stueland Skorpen
Gro Stueland Skorpen is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK). This seminar marks her midway evaluation.
Audit and edit. An ethnography of state audit as document, practice and politics
About the project
Evaluation and audit are methods contemporary societies employ to make the workings of private or public organisations visible, measurable and accountable to their citizens. Although the evaluation of public spending and of quality of service are central governing processes in our democracies, the empirical nature of the practice itself as well as the nature of the matrices of worth it works from has remained clouded. This project’s aim is to contribute to an unpacking of contemporary auditing practice and the ongoing transformations of the field by way of an empirical study of analogue and digital practices and documents of an audit and evaluation agency, namely the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) in Norway.
The project is part of the overarching EVALUNATION project, which looks at evaluation and audit in the Norwegian nation-state more broadly. Taking its departure from the term evaluation optics, it asks how evaluation objects are seen and how evaluation documents are written, circulated, discussed, cited, interconnected, used, and stored.
The PhD project asks questions specifically about audit as practice: How are the knowledge claims of a performance audit established, and what kind of work goes into the production of an audit report? What can we learn from following the trajectory of the audit report in the political system? It also seeks to understand more about the digital realms of audit: What is the data politics the audit bureaucracy becomes enmeshed in as a result of their algorithmic knowledge practices? How is this set of politics entangled with those that are at work in the nation-state as a whole?
The project is based on ethnographic fieldwork in the Norwegian audit office. The first 10 months of fieldwork has been situated in the office’s datalab, and has resulted in an analysis of the process of infrastructuring cloud computing that is currently going on in the Norwegian national audit office and the data politics that is found therein.
Researcher Hilde Reinertsen (TIK, UiO) – Main supervisor
Lecturer Antonia Walford (University College London) – Co-supervisor
Professor Brit Ross Winthereik (IT University of Copenhagen)
Professor Susanne Bauer (TIK, UiO)
How to participate
The seminar is open to everyone. The manuscript is available upon request from 12 September. Please send the request to Gro Stueland Skorpen (email@example.com).