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Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP)
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability South Asia Region (ANSA-SAR)
GOXI - sharing in governance of extractive industries
IMAGE network - Independent Media for Accountability, Governance and Empowerment
ANSA-Africa is a project of the Economic Governance Programme, IDASA
Themes > ICT
It is observed that information and communication technologies (ICT) - broadly defined to encompass basic telephony and advanced technology platforms and services (eg: Internet) - have the potential to play a role in the following social and economic processes:

  • catalysing economic development and employment creation
  • enabling life-long learning opportunities
  • supporting democratic processes and human rights culture through access to information and ease of communication
  • increasing accessibility of government services
  • raising transparency of government processes and feedback to citizens
The power of citizens to take advantage of these potential benefits is subject to their ability to access ICT. The problem of social exclusion as it relates to ICT is evident both between and within national contexts.

Consequently, the role of government is critical in securing ICT services for all its citizens. This can be framed as ‘universal service’ which is taken to entail three elements: availability, accessibility and affordability. ANSA-Africa identifies access to ICT services as an important sphere in which government accountability should be scrutinised. In pursuit of the goal of ‘universal service’, government must attempt to achieve an adequate balance between the following objectives: first, secure conditions in private sector ICT markets that do not unreasonably exclude poor or spatially marginal populations, and second, augment market-driven services with public ICT facilities.

Analysis of government accountablility in the sphere of ICT can address the following aspects:

  • investigate differences in access to ICT between social groups (eg. race, class, gender, disability and those located in rural areas)
  • the evolution of ICT policy
  • the type of instruments applied to private ICT service markets to facilitate universal access
  • access to Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCC) and other public access points
  • access to ICT-related education and training since people and their skills are the prime resource in economic activities where ICT are deployed.
INFONET: Citizen's engagement in enforcing accountability for the improvement of service delivery in Kenya
John Kippchumba and Phillip Thigo, June 2010

The Social Development Network’s main aim is to promote and facilitate effective strategic alliances among members and interested groups within Kenya. As a network, SODNET’s mandate is anchored on the need to restore the institutional integrity and civic sovereignty of the social sector. INFONET,?

Technology for Transparency Review, Part III
David Sasaki, 17 May 2010

Throughout our mapping and analysis of the 36 case studies on the Technology for Transparency Network we have tended to group projects by their geographic region. This is in large part because our team of researchers and research reviewers were hired explicitly to map and evaluate technology projects?

Technology for transparency: the role of technology and citizen media in promoting transparency, accountability, and civic participation
Edited by David Sasaki, May 2010

The birth of the World Wide Web as we know it today dates back to March 1989 when Tim Berners Lee, then a research fellow at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, wrote a proposal for an Internet framework that would allow online documents to link to one another. Eight months?

Africa Calling: Can mobile phones make a miracle?
Jenny C Aker and Isaac M Mbiti, March 2010

Ten years ago the 170,000 residents of Zinder were barely connected to the 21st century. This mid-sized town in the eastern half of Niger had sporadic access to water and electricity, a handful of basic hotels, and very few landlines. The twelve-hour, 900 km drive to Niamey, the capital of Niger,?

Talking about an 'SMS Uprising'
31 March 2010

Pambazuka News talks to Sokari Ekine, editor of 'SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa'. She discusses the role of technology in creating social change and asserts that technology's role is as a tool; it cannot facilitate change on its own: 'the driving force behind social change is ideas and the?

The technology for transparency review, Part I
David Sasaki, March 2010

Last month The Economist published a useful overview of how governments, geeks, and activists are coming together to make politics more transparent, elected officials held more accountable, and citizens more involved in shaping debate and policy. To illustrate their point The Economist?

Urgent call for proposals: Innovation Fair - Moving beyond conflict
15 February 2010

This Innovation Fair, organized by the World Bank Group, is seeking to identifyhigh-impact approaches to working in fragile and conflict-affected states in order to share and, if possible, scale them up. The Fair will convene international experts on conflict and fragility, development researchers?

Who writes about ICT4D online?
Ivan Sigal, February 2010

Over the past months Global Voices has been engaged in researching and writing about ICT for development supported by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Canada's

Announcing the Technology for Transparency Network
19 January 2010

Internet technologies give governments an unprecedented ability to monitor?

Development through electronic networks: information and communication technologies in Africa
Christopher Coenen and Ulrich Riehm, 2009

Since the 1990s, Africa has moved back up the political agenda, thanks above all to the United Nations Millennium Declaration and to Africa’s own efforts to achieve reform and unity. The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to promote social development, on the other hand, continues?

Sub-Saharan Africa: Open Net Initiative
12 October 2009

Many sub-Saharan African governments view the Internet as a key tool for development and are developing ICT policies accordingly, though the region still lags behind the rest of the world in both number and percentage of Internet users. Sub-Saharan Africa has a history of media abuses and restrictions?

Planting the knowledge seed: Adapting to climate change using ICTs
Edited by Patrick P Kalas (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and Alan Finlay (Open Research), September 2009

This publication invites you to think outside the box. It takes you on a journey to explore the practical linkages between climate change, access to and sharing of information and knowledge, communication for development and ICTs in general. More specifically, it considers how everyday information?

Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS)
Ibrahim Inusah, Martine Koopman and Denise Senmartin, September 2009

The ICT for Development (ICT4D) national networks focus on the role of Information and Communication Technology in accelerating development in various sectors (education, health, rural livelihood and governance) in a country. This thematic brief describes the lessons learned from the IICD-supported?

New technologies = New chances? The Internet as survival tool for Zimbabwean pro-democracy organizations
Monika Hufnagel, 26 January 2009

In the aftermath of the 2008 elections in Zimbabwe the world had to witness incredible atrocities against civilians and participants of the Zimbabwean democracy movement. Yet, this outburst of violence was just the peak of a long and sad story of fierce repression. In addition to the recent economic?

Global Information Society Watch 2008
December 2008

How do we ensure access to the internet is a human right enjoyed by everyone?

This is one of the critical questions asked by an annual publication that highlights the importance of people's access to information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure - and where and?

ICT C use and Value for Service Delivery
Dr. Ahmed Darwish, 14 October 2008
Paper presented by Dr Ahmed Darwish, Minister of State for Administrative Development, Arab Republic of Egypt, at the 6th Conference of African Ministers for Public Service, Johannesburg, South-Africa, October 14, 2008
ICT use and value for service delivery
Dr. Ahmed Darwish, 14 October 2008
Paper presented by Dr Ahmed Darwish, Minister of State for Administrative Development, Arab Republic of Egypt, at the 6th Conference of African Ministers for Public Service, Johannesburg, South-Africa, October 14, 2008
Focus area: Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
7 April 2008

Advances in information and communication technology (ICT) over the last decade have brought dramatic improvements and unprecedented opportunities for Africa‘s participation in the global networked economy.

ICT in Africa: Boosting economic growth and poverty reduction
7 April 2008

Africa is on the move, and information and communications technologies (ICT) are a powerful tool to boost economic growth and poverty reduction.

Global E-Government Survey 2008
January 2008
The UN E-Government Survey 2008: From E-Government to Connected Governance assesses the e-government readiness of the 192 Member States of the UN according to a quantitative composite index of e-readiness based on website assessment, telecommunication infrastructure, and human resource endowment. ICTs?
Global E-Government, 2007
Darrell M. West, 1 August 2007
In this report, I present the seventhh annual update on global e-government. Using an analysis of 1,687 government websites in 198 different nations undertaken during Summer, 2007, I investigate electronic government. Among the significant findings of the research are:
The Least Developed Countries Report, 2007: Knowledge, technical learning and innovation for development
19 July 2007
The least developed countries (LDCs) are a group of countries (presently 50 States) that have been officially identified by the United Nations as "least developed" in the light of their low income, weak human assets, and high economic vulnerability. UNCTAD, in past LDC Reports, has taken the view that?
Mobile activism and community development
Everlyne Nairesiae, 6 June 2007
Everlyne Nairesiae of GROOTS Kenya reviews the recent three-day workshop of pan-African mobile phone activists, held in Nairobi. She explains how GROOTS has applied mobile phone technology in their work on property rights for rural Kenyan women.

Mobile activists across Africa converged?
Freedom of information in Kenya
Priscilla Nyokabi , 6 June 2007
The right to information underpins and is the cornerstone of all other human rights. Priscilla Nyokabi assesses the newly proposed Freedom of Information Act of Kenya.
Options for Terrestrial Connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa
Anders Engvall and Olof Hesselmark, March 2007
Mobile GSM operators in Sub-Saharan Africa are rapidly covering most populated areas with telephone services. A new report by SIDA makes an inventory of existing transmission backbones in 18 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and discusses issues related to solutions for improved utilization of such networks.?
African e-Governance – opportunities and challenges
Stephen Coleman, 2007
e-governance: what it means and why it matters

Throughout the world, the work of government is being reshaped by two ineluctable trends. The first is the movement away from centralised, vertical and hierarchical government machines towards polycentric networks of governance based upon?
Prospects for e-Advocacy in the Global South
Project director: Ricken Patel, January 2007
Social change is driven by communication, coordination, and collective action by groups of citizens who wish to change the institutions and policies that govern them. This change is vital to the progress of the global south, and it can only be led by the citizens of that region. This paper suggests that?
Toolkit: Disseminating research online
This toolkit provides broad tips and practical suggestions for communicating academic research using the internet. It draws on best practice for web strategies from the information and commercial worlds, especially selected to help the successful electronic dissemination of your research.
Pro-Poor Public Service Delivery with ICTs: Making local e-governance work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals
e-Governance and e-government are increasingly being emphasized by governments, the private sector, civil society groups and development agencies as critical for strengthening good democratic governance.
Developing e-Government indicators
12 December 2006
Reliable statistical data and indicators regarding readiness, use and impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) help policy makers formulate strategies for ICTdriven economic growth, social development and the prevention of a new form of socioeconomic exclusion, termed the “digital divide”.?
A bibliography of ICT applications in education in Africa
December 2006
This bibliography is the initial phase of a survey initiated by the Information for Development Program (infoDev), located at the World Bank, being carried out in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
Information and communications for development: Global trends and policies
In the past few decades, information and communication technology (ICT) has transformed the world. Its potential for reducing poverty and fostering growth in developing countries has increased rapidly.
Information and communications technologies (ICTs) for Africa's development
Matthew Chetty, 2006
ICT and human development - the indisputable link

Earlier this year, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published the Human Development Report 2003 which provides an indication of progress towards meeting the internationally agreed upon Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The report?
Understanding and measuring eGovernment: International benchmarking studies
Richard Heeks, 2006
This paper is aimed at those involved – in planning, in undertaking, in using or in evaluating – the benchmarking or measurement of e-government. It draws on models of e-government and experience of benchmarking to answer four questions: why benchmark e-government? what to benchmark? how to benchmark??
Monitoring and evaluation of ICT in education projects
Daniel A. Wagner, Bob Day, Tina James, Robert B. Kozma, Jonathan Miller & Tim Unwin, November 2005
The increasing profile and importance of the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the education sector are visible in many developing countries. With over twenty years of widespread use of computers in developed countries, and almost ten years after computers (and shortly thereafter,?
Information and communication technologies for rural development: Issues and options
October 2005
With recent advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs), the creation and dissemination of information and knowledge have dramatically increased in speed and outreach. The "knowledge revolution" has started to re-shape the global economy through greater competitiveness, new economic?
Gender equality and empowerment of women through ICT
September 2005
“The so-called digital divide is actually several gaps in one. There is a technological divide—great gaps in infrastructure. There is a content divide. A lot of web-based information is simply not relevant to the real needs of people. And nearly 70 per cent of the world’s websites are in English, at?
Revised report on the WSIS stocktaking
30 August 2005
The WSIS stocktaking is intended to fulfil the dual purpose of providing an inventory of activities undertaken by governments and all stakeholders in implementing the Geneva decisions (the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action) and taking stock of the progress made in building the Information?
Measuring ICT: the global status of ICT indicators
July 2005
At the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in December 2003, world leaders and heads of state highlighted the importance of benchmarking and measuring progress toward the information society.
Exploring old terrains with new technologies - making ICT services and applications work for the poor
T.R. Gopalakrishnan, 27 June 2005
Developing countries are struggling with varying degree of success to attain its developmental goals. As ICTs diffuse rapidly, the question about its contribution to the development process has become an issue of much concern. ICTs are seen as a critical resource in the promotion of socio-economic development,?
WSIS Gender caucus: Summary of recommendations to the second WSIS Africa regional preparatory conference
2 February 2005
The WSIS Gender Caucus places great importance in aligning the WSIS preparatory process and outcomes with achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and urges Governments and the International Community to acknowledge and treat the integration of gender equality and women’s rights in the IS and?
Up-scaling pro-poor ICT-policies and practices
Richard Gerster, Sonja Zimmermannm, January 2005
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can make a difference in reducing poverty and in contributing to reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Connecting sub-Saharan Africa
Pierre Guislain, Mavis A. Ampah, Laurent Besanon, Ccile Niang, Alexandre Srot, 2005
With a revitalized approach to information and communication technologies (ICT) sector development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the World Bank Group (WBG) is poised to support further reform of the telecommunications sectors in the region. The strategy builds on the earlier reform agenda in the sector?
Guide to successful communications
This website is intended to assist project coordinators and team leaders to generate an effective flow of information and publicity about the objectives and results of their work, the contributions made to European knowledge and scientific excellence, the value of collaboration on a Europe-wide scale,?
Towards an African e-Index: Household and individual ICT access and usage across 10 African countries
edited by Alison Gillwald, 2005
Global economic and social change. Over the past decade, there has been an increasing commentary on the economic, political, and social potential of information communication technologies (ICTs) under the right political and economic conditions. The development of the harmonised, globally interconnected?
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development in National Human Development Reports
January 2003
In line with the mandate of the National Human Development Report (NHDR) Unit stipulated in the Corporate Policy of February 2001, as well as the discussions on support mechanisms for NHDR teams that took place in Beirut in June 2001, the NHDR unit and the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) have commissioned?
Benchmarking E-government: A global perspective
May 2002
Since the mid -1990s governments around the world have been executing major initiatives in order to tap the vast potential of the internet for the distinct purpose of improving and perfecting the governing process. Like the personal computer, the internet has become an indispensable tool in the day-to-day?
ANSA-Africa Thematic Areas
Power to the principals
14 January 2011
The Witness

Food prices can't just be swept under the table
14 January 2011
The Guardian

Corruption fight dealt a blow
14 January 2011
The Nation

Rape is horrifyingly widespread in conflicts all around the world
14 January 2011
The Economist

The other side of the NMG's leaders' scorecard
14 January 2011
The New Times

Delivering good aid?
14 January 2011
Development Policy Blog

Ongeri, national school quotas is the wrong fix
13 January 2011
Daily Nation

Boost for Zimbabwe's education sector results in texts
13 January 2011

Don't chase pupils over fees
13 January 2011
Lusaka Times

Private schools: Demand outstrips supply
13 January 2011
The Citizen

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