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Citizen-to-Citizen vs. Citizen-to-Government eParticipation in Uganda: Implications for Research and Practice
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3713-346X
2015 (English)In: Electronic Participation, ePart 2015, Springer, 2015, 95-107 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is growing globally, as is interest in the use of digital technologies to improve citizens' participation in governance. In African countries, where ICT use remains low and where there is a democratic deficit, the nature and extent of citizens' participation via ICT is unknown. Based on a print questionnaire with 322 internet users in Uganda, this paper compares citizen-to-citizen (C2C) participation and citizen-to-government (C2G) participation, examines the factors that hinder greater C2C and C2G online participation, and explores the implications for greater eParticipation in future. For effective eParticipation, the majority of Ugandan internet users need to become more active as creators of online content, as well as conversationalists and critics. Results show that regardless of whether it is engagements among citizens or between citizens and leaders, most citizens are spectators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015. 95-107 p.
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 9249
Keyword [en]
Uganda, eParticipation, Citizen participation, Online participation
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-46511DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22500-5_8ISI: 000363261300008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84944809791ISBN: 978-3-319-22500-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-46511DiVA: diva2:871959
Conference
7th Annual International IFIP WG 8.5 Conference on Electronic Participation (ePart), Thessaloniki, Greece, August 30-September 2, 2015
Available from: 2015-11-17 Created: 2015-11-16 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Motivating eParticipation in Authoritarian Countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Motivating eParticipation in Authoritarian Countries
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can enrich the ways in which citizens participate in civic and political matters. Indeed, many theorists on online participation, or eParticipation, proclaim the potential of digital technologies to empower citizens with convenient ways to participate in democratic processes and to hold leaders to account. However, it is not clear if and how digital technologies, notably social media, can contribute to a more democratic system and engaged public in a country where open expression is limited. This thesis studies Social Networking Sites (SNS) as Information Systems (IS) artefacts, including individuals’ motivation for using them, how their features enable participation - or not - and the impacts of their use in an authoritarian country.

Through personal interviews and focus group discussions in Uganda, this thesis finds that the common enablers of online participation in often-studied, mostly Western democratic countries are rarely translated into the offline world in an authoritarian country with one president for the last 30 years. The thesis proposes ways to increase eParticipation in authoritarian contexts, citing the social accountability sector (where the thesis shows evidence of eParticipation working) as a pathway to greater citizen participation and government responsiveness. Findings also contribute to the Information Systems artefact discourse by illuminating the political, social, technological, and information artefacts in SNS when used for eParticipation. Moreover, the thesis shows how, in contexts with a democracy deficit, resource-based theories such as the Civic Voluntarism Model (CVM) fall short in explaining what motivates political participation. It also explains how social networks contain the various constitutive aspects of the IS artefact – social, technical, informational and political - and how these various aspects need to be aligned for eParticipation to work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2016. 143 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Informatics, 11
Keyword
Civic voluntarism, IS artefact, Uganda, eParticipation, citizen participation, social networking sites, authoritarian regime, ICT4D
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48179 (URN)978-91-7529-136-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-28, Hörsalen, Musikhögskolan, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-10 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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