Mobile Democracy: A Disruptive Innovation for Democracy-hungry Groups Abdelnasser Abdelaal and Hesham Ali Department of Co...
Agenda <ul><li>Introduction  </li></ul><ul><li>IT and Social Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging M-Democracy Technolog...
Information Technology (IT) <ul><li>IT is a super scientific discipline that includes the disciplines that address issues ...
State of the IT Discipline <ul><li>Tremendous growth and development of Information Technology (IT) in recent years </li><...
Signs of the lack of “true integration” <ul><li>The use of IT is not seamlessly integrated in our daily activities </li></...
The New Role of IT <ul><li>Integrate with various disciplines and create new exciting areas such as Bioinformatics and Med...
The Challenges for Integrating IT in Other areas <ul><li>Clash of cultures in different disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>It i...
IT and Social Applications  <ul><li>Information and Communication Technology in general and mobile communication in partic...
M-Democracy <ul><li>M-Democracy tools are particularly important for Democracy-Hungry Groups. </li></ul><ul><li>These are ...
Emerging M-Democracy Technology  <ul><li>Interfaces:   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smart mobile phones, PDA, laptops, WiFi phone...
Technical Drivers of Mobile Democracy <ul><li>Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dual mode devices can u...
Emerging M-Democracy Technologies Source :  http://www.3g-generation.com
Previous work  <ul><li>Brucher and Baumberger (2003) discussed the role of mobile technology in the democratic process.  <...
Proposed Model for M-Democracy  <ul><li>We propose a framework for M-Democracy that takes into account the emerging mobile...
Drawbacks of Mainstream Media  <ul><li>Failure of mainstream civic engagement tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional main...
Proposed Model for M-Democracy Many-to-many engagement M-democracy Direct democracy Customized democracy Real-time partici...
Key Properties of M-Democracy  <ul><li>Affordable political participation  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In terms of time, effort,...
Case Study 1: Egypt  <ul><li>Egyptian bloggers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They have grown to be the main political reform forc...
Case Study 2: Nepal <ul><li>Recently in Nepal:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cell phones used to mobilize demonstrations asking t...
Case Study 3: Wireless Omaha  <ul><li>Free or Affordable Wireless Infrastructure with a focus on addressing the digital di...
Other Case Studies  <ul><li>Mobile text messages have been used to arrange for demontrations againest the President in the...
Conclusions <ul><ul><ul><li>IT has a chance to transform various disciplines and serve as a key driver for significant dev...
Next Steps <ul><ul><ul><li>Developing open-source software for mobile democracy and applications (M-Voting, Moblog, MobiTV...
Acknowledgment <ul><li>Nebraska Research Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>NSF EPSCoR </li></ul>
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Mobile Democracy

  1. 1. Mobile Democracy: A Disruptive Innovation for Democracy-hungry Groups Abdelnasser Abdelaal and Hesham Ali Department of Computer Science College of Information Science and Technology University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE 68182 {aabdelaal| [email_address]
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>IT and Social Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging M-Democracy Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Previous work </li></ul><ul><li>Proposed Model for M-Democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions and Future Directions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Information Technology (IT) <ul><li>IT is a super scientific discipline that includes the disciplines that address issues related to collecting, storing, managing, processing information, and employing information and algorithmic techniques to solve problems in various application domains. </li></ul>
  4. 4. State of the IT Discipline <ul><li>Tremendous growth and development of Information Technology (IT) in recent years </li></ul><ul><li>The progress in core IT areas is happening fast - almost on a daily basis </li></ul><ul><li>The impact of this progress is not transferring with the same speed to other disciplines or to real-world applications </li></ul><ul><li>Some may argue that IT may have lost some of its exciting flare </li></ul>
  5. 5. Signs of the lack of “true integration” <ul><li>The use of IT is not seamlessly integrated in our daily activities </li></ul><ul><li>IT-related interdisciplinary disciplines are struggling to achieve their goals and achieve them quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Major flaws in developing IT products for several critical applications </li></ul><ul><li>The digital divide issue </li></ul>
  6. 6. The New Role of IT <ul><li>Integrate with various disciplines and create new exciting areas such as Bioinformatics and Media Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the tools and innovations to other disciplines and help them achieve their goals </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of the growth of the new IT hybrid areas to further develop the core areas of IT </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Challenges for Integrating IT in Other areas <ul><li>Clash of cultures in different disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>It is against the mighty silo structure </li></ul><ul><li>Potential overemphasis of the IT component </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of proper resources </li></ul><ul><li>Overestimation of needed resources </li></ul><ul><li>More than one cook in the kitchen, which recipe to use? </li></ul>
  8. 8. IT and Social Applications <ul><li>Information and Communication Technology in general and mobile communication in particular have a number of societal applications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Civic engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic democracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social inclusion for marginalized individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing social capital in the society </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><li>The term Mobile democracy refers to the usage of mobile interfaces by citizens, activists, politicians to generate, disseminate, and receive political content for the purpose of improving civic engagement and policy outcomes. </li></ul>
  9. 9. M-Democracy <ul><li>M-Democracy tools are particularly important for Democracy-Hungry Groups. </li></ul><ul><li>These are Groups that lack the necessary civic engagement and political participation capabilities due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The lack of affordable and reliable communications tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time and distance restrictions to participate in the political events; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Government regulations that restrict political participation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disabilities and special needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>These Groups include rural residents, quasi-nomadic individuals, mobile workforce, youth, and developing societies. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Emerging M-Democracy Technology <ul><li>Interfaces: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smart mobile phones, PDA, laptops, WiFi phones, satellite radio and TV channels, dual-mode devices WiFi enabled cars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased the number of trains, buses, cars, aircrafts, ships that have wireless connections </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infrastructures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Satellite communications, 3G networks, Bluetooth, WiFi and WiMax networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text messages, MMS, videoconferencing, mobile voting, RSS, mobile blogs, Video and audio broadcasting, Mobile TV, telephony . </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Technical Drivers of Mobile Democracy <ul><li>Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dual mode devices can use both cellular systems (GSM,UMTS) and WiFi & WiMax networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FMC reduces service tariff taking advantage of the high bandwidth of WiFi, free frequency, and flat rate of the Internet unlike the cellular system which use metered charging rate. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emerging wireless standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>802.11g can provide bandwidth up to 54Mbps, WiMax up to 70MBPs compared to less than 2MBPs of 3G networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved QoS (i.e. security, reliability, real-time delivery, signal quality) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved memory, user interface, CPU, and functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deployment of municipal and community wireless networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are thousands of public WiFi hotspots and hundreds of citywide WiFi networks in the worldwide </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Emerging M-Democracy Technologies Source : http://www.3g-generation.com
  13. 13. Previous work <ul><li>Brucher and Baumberger (2003) discussed the role of mobile technology in the democratic process. </li></ul><ul><li>DiMicco (2002) proposed a mobile voting application using ad hoc communications. </li></ul><ul><li>Suárez (2004) discussed the impact of mobile phones on Spain 2004 election which led to the fall of Aznar’s government. </li></ul><ul><li>The disruptive innovation theory has been used by Raynor (2005) to show the promises of wireless communications. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Proposed Model for M-Democracy <ul><li>We propose a framework for M-Democracy that takes into account the emerging mobile and wireless technologies and the drowbaks of currnet civic engagmnet tools. </li></ul><ul><li>This model uses the disruptive innovation theory to show the increasing impact of mobile communications on political participation and civic engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>It shows that M-Democracy technologies are growing to supplement conventional information dissemination and civic engagement facilities particularly for DHGs. </li></ul><ul><li>According to the disruptive innovation theory, the inferior technology, in terms of performance, will eventually substitute or complement current technologies particularly for specific segments of users or applications. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Drawbacks of Mainstream Media <ul><li>Failure of mainstream civic engagement tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional mainstream media (TV, radio, newspapers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failed to achieve political inclusion of the society at large. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These media are asymmetric when it comes to political participation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audiences can passively receive political content but cannot generate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-Democracy tools and capabilities are not available to about 85% of the world’s population due to the lack of Internet access. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Proposed Model for M-Democracy Many-to-many engagement M-democracy Direct democracy Customized democracy Real-time participation Advancements of Mobile and wireless communications Failure of mainstream media to bridge the political divide SMS MobiTV Moblogs WAP RSS MMS DAB DVB VoIP Affordable democracy Mobile Voting A framework for M-Democracy as a disruptive innovation
  17. 17. Key Properties of M-Democracy <ul><li>Affordable political participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In terms of time, effort, flexibility and portability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many-to-many civic engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>citizens can communicate with each other and their representatives via emails, videoconferencing, online forums, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Direct democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constituents can contact their representatives directly using mobile phones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Customized democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizens can create their own infrastructure or application of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real-time participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile communications provide anywhere, anytime, and real-time participation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Low-regulated democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlike traditional media, authorities have less control of the content of text messages, emails, online forums, Moblogs, etc </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Case Study 1: Egypt <ul><li>Egyptian bloggers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They have grown to be the main political reform force. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where they use mobile phones to document and disseminate the violations of security forces and post them on open sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize demonstrations, and promote freedom of speech in Egypt </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Egyptian oppositions used laptops to provide voters with their voting number in front of the voting stations during elections of 2005 </li></ul>
  19. 19. Case Study 2: Nepal <ul><li>Recently in Nepal: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cell phones used to mobilize demonstrations asking the monarchy government to return democracy in 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The government cut of mobile services to prevent oppositions form using it to coordinate demonstrations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After International pressure, the government returned the elected government and the mobile service as well </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Case Study 3: Wireless Omaha <ul><li>Free or Affordable Wireless Infrastructure with a focus on addressing the digital divide issue </li></ul><ul><li>The University has been collaborating with city official to provide wireless coverage in public libraries, civic centers, and city parks </li></ul><ul><li>The impact of connectivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Omaha Public Library informal survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The impact on the growing Hispanic population </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Other Case Studies <ul><li>Mobile text messages have been used to arrange for demontrations againest the President in the Philippines and eventuually led to his removal </li></ul><ul><li>Short Message Service (SMS) has been used to engage young people in Canada, register voters in South Africa, increase vote turnout in UK, and complete tax forms in Norway </li></ul><ul><li>WiFi networks have been used to politically engage native americans in public affairs through a community wireless network funded by HP </li></ul>
  22. 22. Conclusions <ul><ul><ul><li>IT has a chance to transform various disciplines and serve as a key driver for significant development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration of emerging technologies in social applications has the potential of improving civic engagement and political inclusion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Significant results can be achieved when technology specialists and application experts work side by side in incorporating technology in effective ways </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>M-democracy will emerge as a key development in the political process </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Next Steps <ul><ul><ul><li>Developing open-source software for mobile democracy and applications (M-Voting, Moblog, MobiTV, news portals). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More initiatives for open access and local solutions to bridge the digital divide particularly in underserved and remote areas. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness of the potential civic engagement capabilities of emerging wireless and mobile innovations. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency deregulation, government incentives to initiate local initiatives in order to increase the deployment of citywide wireless networks taking advantage of the recent developments in wireless standards and mobile technologies. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Acknowledgment <ul><li>Nebraska Research Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>NSF EPSCoR </li></ul>

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