ICT and Governance in East Africa: Kampala Dissemination

iHub Research, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the ICT4Democracy East Africa Network, conducted a study on the landscape of ICTs and Governance in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in 2014. This study was a qualitative exploration of the various ways in which ICT tools can/have successfully facilitated or hindered the two-way interaction between government and citizens towards effective public service delivery, tracking corruption, rights/access to information, as well as increasing transparency and accountability. The study was conducted in two towns (one urban and one peri-urban) in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

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ICT and Governance in East Africa: Study Sites

By Varyanne Sika

There might be unanimity in the excitement about ICTs in Africa but there remains little empirical evidence on the ways of actual use of ICT and in particular, for our study, in governance.

Governance, as we approach it in this study, has a political and social component, and is responsive to the present and future needs of society. Information and Communication Technologies are anticipated to improve governance. One of the key things we want to investigate is HOW they can, and are doing so, for where they have been adopted in East Africa.

iHub Research, as part of the ICT4Democracy East Africa network, seeks to study the innovative initiatives leveraging ICT for and in governance in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The ICT and Governance study in East Africa seeks to identify, describe and analyse conditions under which ICT tools can or have successfully facilitated or hindered two way interaction between government and citizens.

An introduction to this study can be found here.

To understand ICT use for governance in East Africa, the study is focussing particularly on the following four areas of governance;

This study will be conducted in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The specific cities and towns in the three countries were selected based on the presence of ICT4Democracy EA partners in the towns and other reasons explained below;

1.  In Kenya, the study will be carried out in Nairobi and in Nakuru. These selections were based on prominence of ICT initiatives in these areas. Nairobi, as the ICT hub in the East African region was a natural fit for the project. Nakuru, on the other hand, is thefirst town in Kenya to get free Wi-Fi therefore enabling citizens to have access to unrestricted internet connectivity. This move was aimed at “enhancing ICT in ensuring better service delivery and simplifying public participation in governance through social media.”

2.  In Uganda, the study is being conducted in Kampala, the capital city, and in Apac, a peri-urban town which is also a post conflict area. Kampala being the capital city, has prominence of ICT use and infrastructure while Apac is one of the towns in which there exists heavy use of ICT tools for governance as we discovered in our exploratory study.

3.  In Tanzania, the study is being conducted in Dar-es-Salaam and in Mwanza. Both cities have a high presence of organizations and projects whose central theme is ICT for Development, within and outside of the ICT4Democracy EA Network.

Are you based in any of these cities/towns and know of any ICT-based initiatives addressing governance issues that we should check out? Please share with us by filling out this form. Your input will help us in mapping initiatives all across the East African region for future ease of reference, so we thank you in advance for your participation.

Based in other areas in East Africa? You are welcome to share with us (in the comments section below, or via the form above), on  any innovative ICT tools used to improve governance in your area.

This study is made possible by the generous support of SIDA and SPIDER.

New Spider Research Publication on ICT4D in East Africa

The publication “ICT for Anti-corruption, Democracy and Education in East Africa” is the first product of the Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing Region (Spider)’s Research Related to Projects initiative which was devised and first implemented in 2012.

Connecting research directly to Spider supported projects aims to establish a closer connection between ICT4D research and ICT4D practice. The support allows ICT4D researchers in Sweden, in collaboration with researchers and practitioners in partner countries, to carry out research on ongoing ICT4D projects. This has generated research that can contribute more directly to development work, and provide a substantial contribution to poverty reduction and other development goals. The publication covers three thematic areas: anti-corruption, democracy and education. The six contributions span from ethnographic descriptions and analyses to explorations of collaborative design and evaluation of the achievement of set capacity building goals from the capability approach.

The volume is edited by Dr Katja Sarajeva, Program Manager at Spider.

Download the publication here.

Workshop on Mobile Democracy in East Africa

February 28, 2012, New Delhi, India

The ICT4Democracy in East Africa Network will hold a stakeholder workshop on mobile phone enabled democracy at the 3rd International Conference on Mobile Communication for Development (M4D2012). The workshop will showcase innovative cases from East Africa.

Organisations and individuals interested in the role of mobile phones in democracy are invited to attend the workshop

Further details are available here.