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Using technology for enhancing transparency and accountability in low resource communities: experiences from Uganda
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Information Systems. Örebro University. (Teknikburna kunskapsprocesser)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4855-1971
Örebro University.
Örebro University.
2013 (English)In: ICT for Anti-Corruption, Democracy and Education In East Africa / [ed] Katja Sarajeva, Stockholm: Spider , 2013, 37-51 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study aimed at investigating the user needs, practices, experiences and challenges faced in promoting transparency and accountability using ICT in low-resource communities. The research was conducted on two ICT4D (Information and Communication Technology for Development) initiatives, a call center, and a telecenter supported by two projects; (1) “Promoting Social Accountability In The Health Sector In Northern Uganda”, (2) “Catalyzing Civic Participation And Democracy Monitoring Using ICTs”. The two projects sought to fight corruption by increasing transparency and accountability using ICT to enable “whistle-blowing,” i.e., reporting misconduct in service provision. The projects are based in Uganda and are carried out by Spider (Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions) partner organizations: Transparency International (TI) Uganda and Collaboration International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). Using interviews, focus group discussions and observations, the study addressed three research questions: (1) How have the two projects provided citizens a trusted and effective channel for “whistle-blowing”? (2) What are the enabling factors for whistle-blowing through ICT and challenges that affect whistle-blowers and how can the challenges be overcome?

The ICT service-delivery monitoring and reporting methods used by projects include toll free phone calls, blogs, radio talk shows, SMS and e-mail for reaching out; and processes for verification of reports and for communicating reports to government. There are results that indicate these methods are sound enough to serve the purposes of transparency and accountability, and the track record exhibits real change achieved in many instances. ICT users are optimistic and trustful of these ICT methods. Effective whistle-blowing includes efficient and effective reporting processes, convenience in reporting, actual service delivery improvements, availability and privacy, and affordability. There are also a number of challenges, including user education, gender issues, and general issues pertaining to the business model, including economic sustainability and finding the most effective scope of the operations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Spider , 2013. 37-51 p.
Series
Spider ICT4D Series, 6
Keyword [en]
Transparency, Accountability, Corruption, ICT, Low-Resource Communities
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Complex Systems – Microdata Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-13807ISBN: 978-91-637-46031 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-13807DiVA: diva2:696732
Projects
Promoting social accountability in the health sector in northern Uganda. .Catalyzing civic participation and democracy monitoring using ICTs
Available from: 2014-02-14 Created: 2014-02-14 Last updated: 2015-12-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
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More languages
Output format
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