eParticipation in East Africa: Theory, platforms and cases - Amahoro Mu Matora


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eParticipation in East Africa: Theory, platforms and a case - Amahoro Mu Matora - from Burundi that is considered in detail. A lecture for the Virtual University of Uganda - www.virtualuni.ac.ug

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eParticipation in East Africa: Theory, platforms and cases - Amahoro Mu Matora

  1. 1. eParticipation in East Africa introduction, some platforms and a case study: Amahoro Mu Matora Victor van Reijswoud MIS4D.com victor@mis4d.com Landry Ninteretse world.350.org/africa/ landry.ninteretse@gmail.com
  2. 2. Government and ICT • e-Government: ICTs within government, with a view to improve the efficiency in interactions and information flows between government departments and state organs • e-Governance: ICTs in the interface between government and citizens, with a view to improving interaction and feedback between government and citizens • e-Participation: ICTs for empowerment of citizens and civil society organisations. This occurs at three levels: provision of information to citizens, citizen consultation and dialogue between governments and citizens.
  3. 3. The e-State
  4. 4. Three cross-cutting components 1. Access to ICT and connectivity: Public investment in information and public/private communication systems, connectivity and equipment infrastructure, to enable XS4All. 2. Access to information: Public investment to promote the digitalization and dissemination of public information within the population 3. Regulation and political environment: Public investment to support the creation and implementation of new technology strategies for development and egovernance, legislation and regulation, and for strengthening competencies within public bodies involved in setting, implementing and monitoring policies.
  5. 5. Citizen Participation • ‘The concept of good governance carries in it the essence of democracy through the mechanism of institutionalized citizen participation’ (Coulibaly, 2004) • Citizen participation is expressed through: – – – – – information awareness-raising consultation questioning dialogue etc.
  6. 6. Citizen participation processes 1. Information: One-way relationship in which citizens receive information from governments 2. Consultation: Two-way interaction via forums, opinion surveys, polls, etc. 3. Representation: Presence within institutions where decision-making takes place. 4. Volunteering: Participation and commitment 5. Monitoring: Watchdog role; monitoring public policies; inspection; evaluation of public services
  7. 7. Limiting factors 1. Low human capital: poor literacy and schooling rates 2. Gender inequalities 3. Infrastructure limitations 4. Status of democratic governance: genuine democratic practices and processes, demonstrated by the ability of citizens to exercise full freedom of expression.
  8. 8. Some platform
  9. 9. Blogging • Wordpress.com • Blogspot.com
  10. 10. Crowdmapping Kenyan Innovation multiple-channel crowdsourcing information to map (visualize) information > emergency response, election monitoring, peace building… open source
  11. 11. Online petitions / e-Petitions • Use the internet to mobilize large groups • Transnational • Change.org • Onlinepetition.org • Gopetition.com
  12. 12. eParticipation Case study of an Early Warning Early Response Project
  13. 13. ‘Amahoro Mu Matora’ Project • In 2010, 10 local and international organisations initiated ‘Amatora Mu Mahoro’ to monitor democratic principles and prevention of electoral violence • Project used a web platform (www.burundi.ushahidi.com) updated with information from more than 400 citizen reporters
  14. 14. Goal and Objectives • Goal: To prevent electoral violence in Burundi 2010 elections • Objectives: • Use reliable data to prevent electoral violence • Map and monitor electoral violence objectively and reliably • Strengthen the capacity of CSOs in monitoring and mapping electoral violence • Develop a better understanding of the causes of electoral violence and mitigation strategies
  15. 15. Key Components • Early warning to allow early response • Monitoring and Reporting on electoral violence • Mapping of conflict and conflict indicators • Provide advice and support strategies of conflict resolution and violence reduction • Building grassroots networks of conflict resolution
  16. 16. Methodology • Clear definition of electoral violence • Reporting based on incidents (location, time, damages and victims) • Reporting based on indicators (early warning to violence indicators) • Reporting on peace initiatives • Importance of information verification • Public reporting of data and trends
  17. 17. Technology used • • • • Mobile phones Desktops and laptops connected to Internet Mapping softwares Centralized data base
  18. 18. Results of monitoring Web site • Presents reports sent by SMS • Identifies and locates violent incidents • Shares information with stakeholders to take immediate action Weekly Reports • Identify early indicators • Provide detailed data analysis from citizen reporters • Share information with appropriate stakeholders to take preventive measures
  19. 19. Successes and Challenges • This experience showed a strong potential of organizations, citizen reporters and analysts to monitor objectively relationships between various political and non-political actors • This experience inspired the Kenyan civil society that has used and improved this system to organize a careful monitoring of the 2013 elections. • This initiative faced technical and logistical challenges and was not able to collect rapidly and objectively facts and incidents for an early response