Bloggers to benefit from digital security & internet freedoms training

By Shitemi Khamadi |

Bloggers are poised to get legal knowledge on what laws can be used to charge them, thanks to a training hosted by the Bloggers Association of Kenya. The training to be held in Nairobi and Kisumu will see bloggers gain knowledge on what not to post, the rights of arrested persons and the legal framework governing the internet.

Digital&LawTrainingNairobi

“We are heading into the elections yet many bloggers and Kenyans online do not know which sections of the law anyone can use to charge them. This training will improve their knowledge on this critical issue”, said James Wamathai, a Director at BAKE. Read more

Government’s Digital Transformation

 By Nasubo Ongoma |
 
The Kenyan government is at the forefront of embracing digital technologies, with the adoption of ICTs for efficient and timely service delivery. For example, ecitizenMyGovNexus (hardly updated), active social media pages (ImmigrationKRAHuduma) and the most recent web portal, Delivery.This year, we are studying the dynamics of government communication with citizens on the ICT tools launched, specifically, the response mechanisms.

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What Must Change?” For More Gender Equality Online

Storify |

ICT Gender equality

This International Women’s Month, we reflect on what presently shapes women’s participation in the online arena. On International Women’s Day, 8 March, we hosted Akina Mama Wa Afrika, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Connecting Voices of Citizens (CVC) and the Ask Your Government (Uganda) online portal in an online Twitter chat during which we asked “What must change?” to enable a more inclusive online community which recognises gender equity.

See some highlights from the chat here

Gender Digital Divide Persists in Africa

By Juliet Nanfuka |

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Last month, the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) released its Affordability Report 2017 which indicated that while the world will this year mark a significant milestone of 50% global internet penetration, large numbers of women in developing countries remain offline because “they cannot afford to connect.”

The A4AI report’s findings echo earlier reports on the longstanding gender digital gap that is the result of prevailing social and economic barriers including illiteracy, gender roles and various forms of discrimination. In 2013, a report by the Broadband Commission estimated that 200 million more men than women accessed the internet. Similarly, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in 2016 the difference between the Internet user penetration rates for males and females was largest in Africa (23%) and smallest in the Americas (2%).

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New Forums to Use ICT for Social Accountability in Eastern Uganda

By Ashnah Kalemera|

Under the ICT4Democracy in East Africa initiative, the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) has initiated 12 forums in eastern Uganda, which will use various Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools, as well as offline methods, for social accountability.

The forums, each comprised of 12 members, were formed in the districts of Tororo and Busia in October 2016, expanding the network of WOUGNET’s Voluntary Social Accountability Committees, or VSACs, who monitor and report on service delivery failures and mobilise citizens to participate in governance processes.

Members of the forums include representatives from Local Councils, as well as members of pre-existing community water, health, agriculture and education management committees. They also include representatives of youth, women, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and persons living with HIV/AIDs groups.

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Amplifying Community Rights Through Social Media in Kenya

By Ashnah Kalemera |

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Human rights violations incidents are on the rise in Kenya with extrajudicial killings and police brutalityamong the cases reported recently. Social media has enabled quick reporting of such cases while also creating increased awareness of the reported incidents. Through a mix of Twitter, radio and physical engagements, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) is improving its effectiveness in promoting human rights and documenting violations in the lead up to the 2017 national elections.

The commission is seeing success in mobilising citizens for protests and marches, as well as getting stakeholders to participate in debates related to human rights. Through quarterly Twitter chats, the KHRC is popularising various human rights issues and bringing to the fore struggles faced by communities that have little online presence and who have limited avenues for participating in community affairs.

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Using SMS to Promote the Right to Health in Tanzania

By Ashnah Kalemera |

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In pursuit of strategic mechanisms to promote and protect human rights in Tanzania, the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) has this year embraced the use of digital technologies to advance the right to health among vulnerable communities and human rights practitioners in five regions in Tanzania.

In August 2016, CHRAGG embarked on a campaign that leverages its SMS for Human Rights reporting system to improve rights awareness and protection for some hitherto marginalised groups. Under the drive, up to 100 commission staff at the head office in Dar es Salaam and three regional offices (Mwanza, Lindi and Zanzibar) have been trained to improve their understating of the right to health and to enable them to appropriately handle related violation reports received through the digital platform.

The CHRAGG training also benefited 190 individuals including sex workers, the elderly, women, health practitioners and local leaders who were trained on the principles of the right to health and how to monitor and report rights violations. Most of the training beneficiaries (61%) were female.

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SMS as an enabler of the Right to Health in Tanzania

By Ashnah Kalemera |

In its pursuit to establish strategic mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights in Tanzania, the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) is progressing awareness on the right to health among vulnerable communities and human rights practitioners in five regions in Tanzania.

CHRAGG’s recent drive which commenced in August 2016 and leverages the existing SMS for Human Rights reporting system has seen capacity building of over 100 staff at its head office in Dar es Salaam and three regional offices in (location of offices) to improve their understating of the right to health and enable them appropriately handle related violation reports received through the platform. Furthermore, nearly 200 individuals including sexual minorities, the elderly, women, health workers and local leaders have been trained on the principles of right to health to increase their awareness and ability to monitor and report on the same. The training beneficiaries constituted 61% female.  Read more

A Year In Review 2015: ICT4Democracy In East Africa

The intersection of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and civic engagement continues to gain popularity as more citizens adopt the use of tools to engage with each other, and with civic organisations and the state. While empirical evidence suggests that the rate at which this is happening remains debatable, the ICT4Democracy in East Africa network is using various forms of ICT tools to promote civic participation in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and working to overcome challenges such as gender and geographical disparity in use of ICT.

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Has Kenya’s ICT revolution triggered more citizen participation?

By Making All Voices Count | Communication between the state and citizens is an essential element for an equal and just society. Growing social inequalities, lack of proper public services, and denial of basic human rights all act to widen existing communication gaps.

Key to bridging these gaps is ensuring not only that citizen voices are heard, but also that states have the capacity and incentive to listen and respond. As much of the literature on accountability focuses on citizen voices, a group of researchers from Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania – in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies – decided to look at state responsiveness. Read more

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