Hivos International

Open and Responsive Government

Accountable governance inside out and outside in

Blog | May 6, 2015 | Rosie McGee

In our eagerness to be constructive, we who work for accountable governance from our comfort zones in the global north sometimes forget what it’s like to live with a deeply unaccountable state. 

The influence of social and cultural factors on technology innovation

Blog | May 7, 2015 | Monica Nthiga and Kevin Fender

This blog reflects on key lessons for designing projects.

For innovation to make sense it must represent what is plausible and meaningful to the users. In October 2014, Making All Voices Count and Diocese of Kitui – Catholic Justice and Peace Commission launched project, Enhancing the participation of women in devolved governance in Kitui County, targeting women and women leaders in Kitui West and Mwingi West constituencies.

‘Government is not the enemy’ – Citizen-state partnerships in Ghana

Blog | May 19, 2015 | Nicoline van der Torre

The starting point

It was clear from the beginning of the Accra meeting that the discussions would be frank and open. The Communities of Practice in Ghana bring together actors from government, media, civil society and traditional leadership for constructive talks on how to support more effective, accountable governance – but they start with an open exchange about what the key issues are, and where current systems aren’t working:

Competition is key: Reflections on #Tech4Gov Pakistan

Blog | May 21, 2015 | Hyshyama Hamin

Ten years ago, if you wanted to secure funding for an international development project, you’d write a project proposal, put together a log-frame and send it to a donor.

Today, both donors and people they are funding are exploring new ways to inspire, improve and showcase their ideas for new projects – and are increasingly using commercial, competitive approaches to do so.

There is no Department for Responsiveness in government – #Wii4M?

Blog | June 5, 2015 | Melissa Mbugua

Here at Ushahidi we often say technology is only 10% of the solution, and the other 90% is people and the partnerships they form – and that includes people in government as well as ordinary people seeking to make their voices heard.

‘Politicians are people too’: common sense perspectives shape local governance programmes in Ghana

Blog | June 8, 2015 | Nicoline van der Torre

Last month, I travelled to Accra to take part in one of our new, governance-focussed Community of Practice meetings, and to talk with Ghanaian government officials about whether they think tech can play a role in shaping local governance programmes in Ghana.

Disengaged South African youth? 10,000 members of VIP say otherwise

Blog | July 6, 2015 | Melissa Mbugua

Livity Africa‘s new initiative Voting is Power (VIP) Debate Club is tapping into the energy of South Africa’s youth to support better representation of young people’s voices in national politics.

In this blog, Making All Voices Count’s Melissa Mbugua reflects on their success and promise for the future.

Whoever says youth don’t care about politics should watch the South African space.

Testing the waters: How ICT reporting improves rural water supplies

Blog | August 6, 2015 | Jen Williams

Over the last 12 months, WaterAidItad and IRC Wash have conducted desk-based research to understand the reasons why some ICT initiatives to improve water supply in rural areas may succeed where others don’t.

The team have produced a series of blogs reflecting on the research and, in this post, we introduce some of the key research questions and a first look at our findings.

#HackJak2015: a transformed relationship between citizens and government?

Blog | August 21, 2015 | Nicoline van der Torre

This year, Making All Voices Count has been supporting the Jakarta City Government to convene the second annual HackJak - a combination of scrapathon, hackathon and visualthon that aims to make government data publicly available.

Working with civil society, the media and NGOs, the City Government has led an initiative to help them refine what their key governance ‘problem statements’ are, open government data to hackers, coders and graphic designers and see if, together, they can use this data find solutions.

When does the state listen?

Blog | September 10, 2015 | Miguel Loureiro

Communication between state and citizens is a key element of an equal and just society – but do we know if the state is listening to us?

A group of researchers from Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania looked at the extent to which the state listens; to whom, how, when and why. Lead researcher, Miguel Loureiro introduces the research in this first blog of a weekly series, which will explore these questions in each country.