Stimulating the Civic Tech Arena in Uganda

Posted onAugust 5, 2017 
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By Daniel Mwesigwa

civic-tech-arena-uganda

For many citizens across Africa, technology has not only bridged the communication gap between citizens and businesses, but also between governments and citizens. The potential of technology in enabling citizens to participate in governance processes, access public services, and engage with duty bearers has largely gained prominence due to the high internet penetration rates, increasing use of social media and a rise in civic consciousness.

At a recent civic tech showcase in Uganda, it emerged that, as in the rest of Africa, there was growing potential and enthusiasm in the country, with a wide variety of tools deployed by government, civil society and technologists to facilitate social accountability and citizen journalism. The challenge however, remains of creating awareness among citizens for wider adoption of the tools and collaboration among actors to ensure synergies and avoid duplication of efforts.

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How ICT is Transforming Kenya’s Largest Slum

Posted onAugust 3, 2017 
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By Lilian Kaivilu

A dusty and rough road leads to Kibera informal settlements in Kenya’s capital-Nairobi. Residents here are seemingly busy, braving the day’s heat and dust to put food on the table.

In most informal settlements, crime, congestion, poor sanitation and poverty are often used as the best descriptions of life therein. Congestion is perceived as the real picture in the slums. Many perceive the informal settlements, just like Kibera, as the source of cheap labour for the city industries.

Human Needs Project in Kibera

Human Needs Project in Kibera

But on this particular afternoon, CIPESA-ICT4Democracy in East Africa Media Fellow, Lilian Kaivilu, discovers another side of Kibera; a beautiful, tidy, organized and developed face of Kibera that few people know about. Let us call it ‘The Other Kibera’. Here, the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is rife. One would be forgiven to believe that he or she is actually in the middle of the city.

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Promoting Youth Participation in Governance Through ICT in Kenya

Posted onJuly 25, 2017 
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By Tracy Kadesa |

Kadesa

Youths have emerged at the forefront of online activism and citizen journalism in Kenya. During a December 2016 to March 2017 strike by doctors, young doctors shared their grievances online, ranging from lack of resources in government hospitals to inadequate staffing and poor compensation. One of the stories was that of Dr. Ouma Oluga, the secretary general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, who shared how he had to perform a caesarean section using a torch on his mobile phone due to a power outage. He was only 27 at the time.

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CIPESA Engages Ugandan Members of Parliament on Implementation of Access to Information Law

Posted onJuly 20, 2017 
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By Loyce Kyogabirwe |

MPs July meeting 2017

It is 12 years since Uganda passed an access to information law with the purpose of promoting transparency and accountability in all organs of the state by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information. The law also empowers the public to scrutinise and to participate in government decisions. However, the law has remained largely unimplemented as many Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) ignore citizens’ requests for information and rarely release information pro-actively, which contravenes the law.

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Young Social Media Enthusiasts in Kenya Trained on Internet Law and Digital Security

Posted onJuly 1, 2017 
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By Shitemi Khamadi |

BAKE pic

In 2015, Allan Wadi, became the first Kenyan to be convicted of hate speech online. At a May 2017 training on internet and the law, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge to avoid future arrest and prosecution. While he is currently facing an incitement to violence charge over a comment he made on Facebook in February 2016, he said he is now more aware of the extent of his rights and limitations with respect to the rights of others.

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Youth in the Civic and Social Tech Arena in Tanzania

Posted onJune 23, 2017 
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By Ashnah Kalemera |

Hatua project

Sandra Kitenge, a student of Mbezi High School, is determined to bridge the gender gap in technology in Tanzania. Having benefited from the Apps and Girls programme that empowers girls with computer literacy and coding-for-change skills, she sought avenues through which she could contribute to amplifying grassroots voices as part of electoral processes in Tanzania. The solution: an idea for a mobile app known as Tujibu (Swahili for “answer us”) through which grassroots communities can interact with leaders on their manifestos so they can make informed election decisions.

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Showcasing Civic and Social Tech in East Africa

Posted onJune 23, 2017 
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By Ashnah Kalemera |

Showcase series

As access to information and communication technologies (ICT) has continued to grow across Africa, so have technology-based initiatives that enable social accountability and the participation of citizens in promoting transparency and accountability in government operations.

In Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, there is a growing number of government portals for public sector information (PSI) provision, responding to complaints about quality of public services or for corruption whistle-blowing, and generally making PSI more readily available, such as open data portals and budget information websites.

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Round 2 Now Open: CIPESA-ICT4Democracy Media Fellowship Programme

Posted onJune 12, 2017 
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Fellowship Opportunity |

Media Fellowship2

About the ICT4Democracy in East Africa network

The network works in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to achieve two top-line objectives: 1) Increased citizen participation in governance and the realisation of human rights through ICT; and 2) Improved transparency and accountability of governments through ICT. Partners in the network are the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Transparency International Uganda, iHub Research (Kenya), the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG, Tanzania) and Toro Development Network (ToroDev). Read more about the network here: www.ict4democracy.org.

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Round 2 Now Open: CIPESA-ICT4Democracy Academia Fellowship Programme

Posted onJune 12, 2017 
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Fellowship Opportunity |

Academia Fellowship2

About the ICT4Democracy in East Africa network

The network works in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to achieve two top-line objectives: 1) Increased citizen participation in governance and the realisation of human rights through ICT; and 2) Improved transparency and accountability of governments through ICT. Partners in the network are the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Transparency International Uganda, iHub Research (Kenya), the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG, Tanzania) and Toro Development Network (ToroDev). Read more about the network here: www.ict4democracy.org.

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Government Responsiveness on ICT tools deployed: Preliminary Findings Nakuru

Posted onMay 22, 2017 
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By Nasubo Ongoma|

We live in a digital age where most services are online, one tweet could change your life (examples). The government is not left behind and is actively using the internet to reach out to its citizens. iHub as part of the ICT4Democracy East Africanetwork, is undertaking a research project to assess government responsiveness on the ICT tools launched. Data collection is currently being carried out in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa and Kisumu with key informants from the government (national and county), civic society and software developers, armed with this quest, we set out to Nakuru county. It is worth mentioning that it is campaign season, with the uncertainty of the return of the incumbent governor, we reached out to the staff of the ministry of ICT in the county, but they did not show. We are still trying to get an interview with them.

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