These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Africa's digital election trackers
“Harry Kargbo barely slept the night before Sierra Leone's recent election for president. "I was so excited," he said. “I was up until 1 AM the night before. I was thinking, 'What will happen tomorrow? What will tomorrow look like?'"
Four hours later, Kargbo was up and out the door. Armed with nothing more than a mobile phone, he spent the next 10 hours navigating his way through a vehicle ban and police checkpoints, observing voting at polling stations around this West African country's capital, Freetown, and reporting on what he saw using the basic text messaging function on his phone." READ MORE
International Journal of Press/Politics
The Media's Role in Fighting Corruption : Media Effects on Governmental Accountability
“This study measures the relationship between media freedom and corruption, accounting for elements of vertical accountability (electoral competitiveness, civil society, and voter turnout) and horizontal accountability (judicial independence and political system). Results suggest a strong association between media freedom and corruption that runs from high levels of media freedom to low levels of corruption. This study also implies that media freedom might have a stronger indirect effect on corruption when coupled with powerful institutions of horizontal accountability. The data suggest that the association between media freedom and corruption is strongest in countries with parliamentary systems than in those with presidential systems, and that this impact amplifies as the judiciary independence increases.” READ MORE
Field Scan of Civic Technology
“Civic technology – the use of digital technologies and social media for service provision, civic engagement, and data analysis – has the potential to transform cities and the lives of their low- income residents. Under commission from Living Cities, a consortium of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial services companies working to make cities places of economic opportunity for low-income people, we interviewed 25 people with expertise in cities, issues facing low income people, and technology in June and July of 2012. This Field Scan presents our synthesis of these interviews – in effect, a snapshot of the civic tech field.” READ MORE
“The use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) has become increasingly widespread. Even in remote villages in developing countries there are more and more people who have access to a mobile phone. ICTs have the potential to make development projects more efficient, lower costs and improve the quality of service delivery. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that the development community and national governments have enthusiastically embarked on ever more ICT projects in health, agriculture, e-governance, education and many more. There are certainly a number of very successful projects (see for examplem-pesa). However, when I speak to development practitioners, I get the impression that there is an equal (or perhaps considerable higher?) number of failed projects. Unfortunately, only very few share their experiences of a failed ICT project publicly.” READ MORE
“A collaborative mapping project to build a database of bloggers who have been threatened, arrested or killed for speaking out online and to draw attention to the campaigns to free them.” READ MORE