Video: ICT and Governance in East Africa

iHub Research, undertook a study in 2014 to assess how ICT tools are being used, for and in various aspects of governance in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In 2015, following the completion of the study, the iHub team went around the three countries to share the findings and engage the stakeholders who participated in the study in a bid to find ways of using the research. This short video is a summary of those sessions.

Video sourced from the iHub Youtube Channel

Reflecting on ICT for Democratic Engagement in Uganda’s Rwenzori Region

By Ashnah Kalemera |

In the Rwenzori sub-region of western Uganda, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools have been key tools in promoting public accountability and improved service delivery. Through an ICT “convergence approach” that combines SMS, radio and online polling, Toro Development Network (ToroDev) has for the past five years promoted information and knowledge sharing for citizens’ engagement with their leaders on priority service delivery needs and concerns in the region.

ToroDev’s project, which is part of the ICT4Democracy in East Africa Network, has empowered local citizens in offline and online advocacy and engagement with duty bearers, trained radio journalists in reporting and promoting debate on accountability issues, facilitated quarterly accountability meetings between citizens and leaders, and supported the initiation of 15 civic groups in the region. The civic groups, also known as rural advocacy forums, consist of 80 members each, and are involved in citizen journalism and community mobilisation for the radio debates and accountability meetings.

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Promoting Access to Information and Digital Safety Awareness among Tanzanian Journalists For Upcoming Elections

By Gasirigwa G.S |

As the 25 October general election draws closer in Tanzania, journalists have been urged to be impartial in their reporting. Many have also taken steps to ensure that their digital communication is not compromised particularly when seeking information during the electioneering period.

In August, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Tanzania Chapter, in partnership with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) organized two training workshops on access to information with special focus on digital safety for Media practitioners in Tanzania. A total of 40 journalists (13 women and 27 men) from Geita, Mara, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam received practical digital safety skills against a backdrop of discussion on the Access to Information and Media Services bills as well as the recently passed Cybercrime Act 2015 and Statistics Act, also of 2015..

The objective of the workshops was to enhance knowledge and skills of selected media personnel in various outlets in order to enable them to access relevant information, cover and report  factually and responsibly during the 2015 general election.

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Publics’ Rights To Information in Uganda Commemorated

By Esther Nakazzi |

On September 28, 2015, Uganda commemorated International Right to Know Day (RTK) with celebrations marking the 10th Anniversary of the Access to Information Act (ATIA), which promotes the right of access to public information held by the State.

During the celebrations held alongside the 2015 Forum on Internet Freedom in East Africa, experiences, lessons and challenges relating to ATIA, which was passed back in 2005, were discussed. The event also served as the launch of the 2015 report on the State of the Right to Information in Africa.

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Advancing Open Data Implementation in Africa

By Ashnah Kalemera

The push for open data that contributes to government transparency and accountability in service delivery and promotes citizens’ right to information and innovation in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector continues to gain prominence globally. Indeed, open data has been recognised as a key pillar of sustainable development. However, implementation of open data by African governments, civil society and the private sector is mostly in its infant stages, with some countries recording more success than others.

The demand and supply of open data in Africa is faced with numerous challenges including lack of complete data, authoritarian regimes, multiple fragmented actors, limited technical skills and capacity, inadequate infrastructure and low literacy rates.

On September 4-5, 2015, the government of Tanzania and the World Bank hosted the first Open Data Conference in Africa, that brought together the emerging open data community in Africa to showcase innovations and discuss opportunities and challenges to open data implementation.

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ICT and Governance in East Africa: Dar es Salaam Dissemination

By Varyanne Sika |
In July, iHub Research went to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to discuss findings from out ICT and Governance in East Africa study. This was the second of our dissemination forums outside Kenya. Before Tanzania, we went to Kampala in Uganda to share findings from the same study (read a brief recap blog on the Kampala dissemination here). The purpose of these events in the cities where the study was conducted, is to take back the findings from the data we got, to the people and organizations who gave it to us.

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ICT and Governance in East Africa: Kampala Dissemination

BY VARYANNE SIKA,  IHUB RESEARCH
iHub Research, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the ICT4Democracy East Africa Network, conducted a study on the landscape of ICTs and Governance in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in 2014. This study was a qualitative exploration of the various ways in which ICT tools can/have successfully facilitated or hindered the two-way interaction between government and citizens towards effective public service delivery, tracking corruption, rights/access to information, as well as increasing transparency and accountability. The study was conducted in two towns (one urban and one peri-urban) in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

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Promoting e-participation in Western Uganda

By ToroDev Staff |

Radio has proved to be a key tool in promoting public accountability and improved service delivery in the Rwenzori region of western Uganda. Toro Development Network (ToroDev), a non-governmental organisation that trains marginalised communities on service delivery monitoring and participation in governance processes, has reached wide audiences by supplementing their radio activities with additional Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools and traditional offline engagements. Continue Reading →

Promoting inclusive use of ICT in monitoring service delivery in Uganda

By Lillian Nalwoga |

For true democracy to flourish there is need for government transparency, greater access to public information, and inclusion of citizens’ voices in decision-making processes. The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can aid in increasing awareness and empowering citizens to meaningfully participate in governance processes such as monitoring public services delivery.  Continue Reading →

ToroDev Holds a Dialogue Meeting with Advocacy Forums Leaders/ Rural Monitors on 16th June 2015

The 16 advocacy forums have been formed by the 120 rural monitors who have been trained by ToroDev since August, 2012 in online advocacy, monitoring service delivery using online social media/ICT tools like Ushahidi platform for online documentation, visualization and mapping. The Advocacy Forums also use FM Radio Broadcasting as an ICT tool for “convergence or hub” since it is the most accessed media channel in the rural areas of the Rwenzori Region. Continue Reading →