The use of technology to promote citizen engagement has been described as “the next big thing”, and is often associated with adjectives such as “disruptive”, “transformational,” and “revolutionary.” Yet, in contrast with the deluge of blog posts and tweets praising technology’s role to promote smarter and more participatory governments, one finds limited evidence on the effects of technology on citizen engagement practices.
Civic Tech – Assessing Technology for the Public Good is a new book that – we hope – contributes to addressing this knowledge gap. The book is comprised of one study and three field evaluations of civic tech initiatives in developing countries. The study reviews evidence on the use of twenty-three digital platforms designed to amplify citizen voices to improve service delivery. Focusing on 23 empirical studies of initiatives in the Global South, the authors highlight both citizen uptake and the degree to which public service providers respond to expressions of citizen voice.
Civic Engagement and Political Participation
Even though it was windy and dark outside, Vivien Suerte-Cortez was smiling and full of energy on the stage. Suerte-Cortez is an accountability and transparency expert from the Philippines. Dressed in her gray jacket, she started to talk about Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA), a project in the Philippines that encourages citizens to participate in the audit process for government projects and explores how to ensure efficient use of public resources by the government.
"Disciplined and coordinated groups, whether businesses or governments, have always had an advantage over undisciplined ones: they have an easier time engaging in collective action because they have an orderly way of directing the action of their members. Social media can compensate for the disadvantages of undisciplined groups by reducing the costs of coordination."
Associate Arts Professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and Distinguished Writer in Residence in the Journalism Department, New York University
Quoted in Foreign Affairs article, The Political Power of Social Media, Jan/Feb 2011
“Research on political participation has identified a number of deep-seated norms and values that are positively associated with the amount and quality of democratic engagement,” explains Delli Carpini, in the Handbook of Political Communication Research. “One of the most central of these,” as Carpini points out, “is political efficacy, or the sense that one’s participation can actually make a difference (internal efficacy) and that the political system would be responsive to this participation (external efficacy).” As I read this quote, I am reminded of a case in point that perfectly illustrates this theoretical concept.
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Culture and Development
- Communities and Human Settlements
- Social Development
- Citizens Against Corruption
- demand for good governance
- Corruption Watch
- Community Radio
- Civic Engagement and Political Participation
- Civic Empowerment
- Citizens Agaist Corruption