This book is comprised of one study and three field evaluations of civic tech initiatives in developing countries. The study reviews evidence on the use of twenty-three information and communication technology (ICT) platforms designed to amplify citizen voices to improve service delivery. Focusing on empirical studies of initiatives in the global south, the authors highlight both citizen uptake and the degree to which public service providers respond to expressions of citizen voice.
The first evaluation looks at U-report in Uganda, a mobile platform that runs weekly large-scale polls with young Ugandans on a number of issues, ranging from safety to access to education to inflation to early marriage. The following evaluation takes a closer look at MajiVoice, an initiative that allows Kenyan citizens to report, through multiple channels, complaints with regard to water services.
The third evaluation examines the case of Rio Grande do Sul’s participatory budgeting – the world’s largest participatory budgeting system – which allows citizens to participate either online or offline in defining the state’s yearly spending priorities. While the comparative study has a clear focus on the dimension of government responsiveness, the evaluations examine civic technology initiatives using five distinct dimensions, or lenses. The choice of these lenses is the result of an effort bringing together researchers and practitioners to develop an evaluation framework suitable to civic technology initiatives.
Click here to download book.
The space for people to speak out, organize and take action against poverty, inequality and injustice is shrinking on a global scale. People in many countries around the world face serious restrictions and repression when exercising their basic rights. This includes citizens who raise their voices against corruption and political dysfunction, organizations that save lives and provide basic services to people in need, communities that defend their sustainable livelihoods and demand a fair share of natural resources, and activists who fight for gender justice.
Defending civic space is not the responsibility of only one part of civil society – such as human rights organizations or activists. It is the diversity, breadth and vibrancy of civil society that has the potential to successfully reclaim and create civic space. Committed and coordinated actions from activists, academics, journalists, civil society organizations, progressive policy makers and other allies are needed to reverse the trend of shrinking civic space.
This paper outlines the analysis and strategic focus which inform Oxfam’s contribution to the global defence of civic space.
Click here for full paper.
The Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project was a five-year program funded by USAID and Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND). Implemented by Chemonics International with partner Root Change, SACE strengthened civil society’s ability to work with the government to influence the development and implementation of democratic reforms that improve transparency, accountability, and good governance at the national, state, and local levels in Nigeria.
This report provides a project introduction and an an overview of SACE’s Approach and Tools.
Click here for full report.