The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has identified 150 differentiating projects worldwide that aim to tackle the pandemic and Portugal is one of the countries with the largest number of solutions. OECD data highlights Europe and America where the innovative bet has been greater. At the opposite extreme is Asia and Africa.
BBC Media Action has been supporting 15 local radio stations across Zambia to cover local governance issues and improve accountability in the delivery of critical services including education, sanitation and access to water through two projects: Radio Waves (since 2014) and Zambia Speaks! (since 2016).
This case study shows how the programmes helped to improve engagement between citizens and local authorities, resulting in examples of governance issues being addressed, as verified by listeners, station staff and local stakeholders.
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This article critically assesses the possibilities and limitations of strategic communication initiatives to enhance cultures of governance among youth in Northern Ghana. The analysis is embedded within contemporary debates about communication and social change, with particular focus upon dynamics between citizen media development, youth-centred citizen journalism, and processes of community mobilisation and development. Findings suggest that the project has opened up to dynamic, youth-led social change processes, evidenced by the creative, proactive enactment of citizen engagement. Youth changed not only their self-perception around agency and ability to act, but also influenced community development in a variety of ways.
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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.
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