Attend Spring Meetings on Development topics from Apr 17-21. Comment and engage with experts. Calendar of Events

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Submitted by Baloko Makala on

This is a great read Soren and thank you for the invite. I am sure you have heard it before, technology is definitely a great enabler but it is not an end in itself. Long before mobiles phones and social media technologies, radio, newspapers, community gatherings did exists to give a voice to citizens. Technology access is merely a structural barrier and its pervasiveness will definitely bring more individuals on board especially the youth.

A more important challenge is to give the comfort to citizen that indeed they have do have a voice and that have to play an active part in the development of their communities. Translating these voices into tangible actions and following up on implementation would be next.

Rwanda is a great example where new and old technologies are made use of. Majority of public servants use twitter as mean to communicate real time with citizens and address their concerns.

Radio and TV programs are amazing tools for citizens to call in and ask questions on various national initiative or issues.

On a monthly basis, community gatherings are held to maintain cleanliness in communities across the country but also to sensitize citizens on an issue of the moment. It is also an opportunity for community members to meet.

Kenya is another example where twitter and newspapers are fascinating communication platforms for public expression of citizens.

However at the heart of it all must be the willingness and commitment of on both governments and citizens to collaborate together towards the well-being of their communities