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Using Technology for Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Low Resource Communities: Experiences from Uganda
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (CERIS, Department of Informatics)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4855-1971
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (CERIS, Department of Informatics)
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (CERIS, Department of Informatics)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3713-346X
2013 (English)In: ICT for Anti-Corruption, Democracy and Education In East Africa / [ed] Katja Sarajeva, Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2013, 6, 37-52 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study aimed at investigating the user needs, practices, experiences andchallenges faced in promoting transparency and accountability using ICT inlow-resource communities. The research was conducted on two ICT4D (Informationand Communication Technology for Development) initiatives, acall center, and a telecenter supported by two projects; (1) “Promoting SocialAccountability In The Health Sector In Northern Uganda”, (2) “CatalyzingCivic Participation And Democracy Monitoring Using ICTs”. The two projectssought to fight corruption by increasing transparency and accountabilityusing ICT to enable “whistle-blowing,” i.e., reporting misconduct in serviceprovision. The projects are based in Uganda and are carried out bySpider (Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions) partner organizations:Transparency International (TI) Uganda and Collaboration InternationalICT 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 effectivechannel for “whistle-blowing”? (2) What are the enabling factors forwhistle-blowing through ICT and challenges that affect whistle-blowers andhow can the challenges be overcome?The ICT service-delivery monitoring and reporting methods used by projectsinclude toll free phone calls, blogs, radio talk shows, SMS and e-mail forreaching out; and processes for verification of reports and for communicatingreports to government. There are results that indicate these methods aresound enough to serve the purposes of transparency and accountability, andthe track record exhibits real change achieved in many instances. ICT usersare optimistic and trustful of these ICT methods. Effective whistle-blowingincludes 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, genderissues, and general issues pertaining to the business model, including economicsustainability and finding the most effective scope of the operations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2013, 6. 37-52 p.
Series
Spider ICT4D Series, 6
Keyword [en]
Transparency, Accountability, Corruption, ICT, Low-Resource Communities
National Category
Public Administration Studies Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44459ISBN: 978-91-637-4603-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44459DiVA: diva2:807877
Available from: 2015-04-24 Created: 2015-04-24 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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