Building Foundations before Technology: An Operation Model for Digital Citizen Engagement in Resource Constrained Contexts

Pade-Khene, Caroline, Thinyane, Hannah and Machiri, Mwazvita, "Building Foundations before Technology: An Operation Model for Digital Citizen Engagement in Resource Constrained Contexts" 17th European Conference on Digital Government (ECDG 2017), Lisbon, 2017/06/12-13.

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  • Sub-type Conference paper
    Author Pade-Khene, Caroline
    Thinyane, Hannah
    Machiri, Mwazvita
    Title Building Foundations before Technology: An Operation Model for Digital Citizen Engagement in Resource Constrained Contexts
    Event Series European Conference on Digital Government
    Publication Date 2017-06-13
    Place of Publication Reading
    Publisher Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
    Pages 118-126
    Title of Event 17th European Conference on Digital Government (ECDG 2017)
    Date of Event 2017/06/12-13
    Place of Event Lisbon
    Language eng
    Abstract Citizen engagement in developing countries is seen as a ‘game changer’ for development, as citizens can play a key role in contributing to service delivery decisions that hold government accountable for their actions. Recently, there has been a drive to adopt digitally innovative approaches to support social accountability monitoring in developing countries. This is especially pertinent with the growing use of technology, specifically mobile technology, where in some rural areas it is estimated that approximately 80% of the population own a mobile phone. However, digital citizen engagement in developing countries is more complex than imagined, as such initiatives are faced with a lack of awareness of civic rights and education, despondency among citizens based on a lack of effective channels to hold government accountable, a lack of government responsiveness, and a lack of capacity to use and apply innovative approaches effectively. This paper presents a case study of a digital citizen engagement project called MobiSAM (Mobile Social Accountability Monitoring), which uses mobile technology to support two-way communication between citizens and local government, on basic service delivery issues. The operation model of MobiSAM is based on five key components which include: building government responsiveness and citizen engagement capacity, stakeholder engagement, iterative and incremental technology development, citizen education and training, and comprehensive evaluation for learning throughout the project. What is unique about this project is that it has evolved from lessons learned in phase 1.0 after 4 years of operation, to phase 2.0 that was initiated in 2016, hence building on lessons learned and reflecting on successful and challenging aspects. The operation model is not static, as it evolves as the project team learns to operate within the uncertain context. The lessons learned from the MobiSAM approach can be used to support the implementation of digital citizen engagement initiatives in similar global contexts.
    UNBIS Thesaurus SOUTH AFRICA
    EVALUATION
    Keyword Citizen engagement
    Government responsiveness
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2017
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISBN 9781911218371
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    Created: Sat, 17 Jun 2017, 19:45:12 JST by Marcovecchio, Ignacio on behalf of UNU CS