CIVIC TECH IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH : ASSESSING TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD
Peixoto, Tiago; Sifry, Micah L.
The World Bank and Personal Democracy Press
This 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 information and communication technology
(ICT) platforms designed to amplify citizen voices to
improve service delivery. Focusing on empirical studies of
initiatives in the global south, the authors highlight both
citizen uptake (yelp) and the degree to which public service
providers respond to expressions of citizen voice (teeth).
The first evaluation looks at U-report in Uganda, a mobile
platform that runs weekly large-scale polls with young
Ugandans on a number of issues, ranging from safety to
access to education to inflation to early marriage. The
following evaluation takes a closer look at MajiVoice, an
initiative that allows Kenyan citizens to report, through
multiple channels, complaints with regard to water services.
The third evaluation examines the case of Rio Grande do
Sul’s participatory budgeting - the world’s largest
participatory budgeting system - which allows citizens to
participate either online or offline in defining the state’s
yearly spending priorities. While the comparative study has
a clear focus on the dimension of government responsiveness,
the evaluations examine civic technology initiatives using
five distinct dimensions, or lenses. The choice of these
lenses is the result of an effort bringing together
researchers and practitioners to develop an evaluation
framework suitable to civic technology initiatives.