These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
The Open Government Partnership
“UGANDA is not best known as a testbed for new ideas in governance. But research there by Jakob Svensson at the University of Stockholm and colleagues suggested that giving people health-care performance data and helping them organise to submit complaints cut the death rate in under-fives by a third. Publishing data on school budgets reduced the misuse of funds and increased enrolment.
Whether dewy-eyed or hard-edged, examples abound of the benefits of open government—the idea that citizens should be able see what the state is up to. Estonians track which bureaucrats have looked at their file. Indians scrutinise officials’ salaries painted on village walls. Russians help redraft laws. Norwegians examine how much tax the oil industry pays. Many see openness as a cure for corruption and incompetence in public administration. The problem is how to turn the fan base into an effective lobby.” READ MORE
Space for Transparency
Are women less corrupt than men? and other gender/corruption questions
“The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize has put women’s rights in the spotlight. Gender and corruption have been on Transparency International’s radar from sometime. Our global corruption survey found that women perceive higher levels of corruption than men, but were less likely to report it. Last month Transparency Rwanda published a survey on gender-based corruption in the workplace. Last year we published a working paper on the issue.
In this article, published on the Anti-Corurption Research Network last year, Farzana Nawaz, programme coordinator in the Research and Knowledge Group of the TI secretariat, introduces the issue and some of the problems dealing with the gender angle.” READ MORE
The Next Web
Who Owns the Internet?
“Who owns the Internet?
The simple answer to that question is nobody; and everybody. If you pay for an Internet connection you can consider yourself a shareholder, albeit a silent one, so shouldn’t you be a little more concerned about how it develops and the way it’s run?
This year there has been a lot of talk about social media and the part it played in the ‘Arab Spring‘. Western cultures applauded the technology as a tool of revolution, lauding its freedom and openness as a fundamental human right. But when that infrastructure was used to incite and co-ordinate mindless violence and looting in the UK riots, those same voices were heard whispering about shutting down networks to stem the free flow of information that could be used for spurious means.” READ MORE
“In response to last week's post about Facebook's usage in Africa doubling every 7 months, Victor van R, a Dutch ICT4D researcher asked the following pertinent question: Is there any development impact of FB? I immediately thought of at least 3 development impacts we can expect from Facebook's amazingly fast adoption rate.
As I've pointed out before, Facebook is driving ICT adoption in Africa by making technology a primary means of communication - for work, pleasure, or politics. All the chatter about Facebook accounts is driving new customers to invest in smartphones for Facebook 0 or computers and Internet connectivity for the real deal. "I need to get Facebook," is becoming a common refrain at retail technology stores of all types.” READ MORE
“Failure to achieve desired human development outcomes in the water supply and sanitation sector over the last decade has prompted a re-assessment of sector strategies and a focus on issues of governance and political economy. The international community increasingly recognises that the governance and institutional arrangements of a sector and the incentives generated by such arrangements – in short, the political economy of water and sanitation – have a critical impact on how services are delivered.
How can the development community best analyse the governance and political economy of water supply and sanitation service delivery in developing countries? How can the analysis of governance and political economy of the sector inform policy, programming and influencing work? This Working Paper addresses the above questions, as part of a larger research project on 'Analysing the governance and political economy of water supply and sanitation service delivery' funded by DFID.” READ MORE