Hivos International

Open and Responsive Government

e-Government Platforms in Kenya – Evidence of Change, or ‘Politics for Show’?

Blog | September 23, 2015 | Nyambura Salome

Researcher Nyambura Salome asks whether Kenya’s new e-government platforms have helped to increase citizen engagement with the state - or is it all politics for show?

The Jubilee Alliance won Kenya’s 2013 election campaign on the promise of delivering a new “digital and techno-savvy” government, in contrast to the opposition’s “analogue” mode of politics.

What we’re learning about using ICTs to improve rural water services

Blog | September 30, 2015 | Jen Williams

Over the past twelve months WaterAid, Itad and IRC have been conducting desk research and analysis to better understand why some ICT initiatives improving water supply in rural areas succeed where others don’t.

In the third blog of this series, the team discuss how they analysed the data from the various semi-structured interviews and project documentation from the eight initiatives.

Responsibility leads to responsiveness: Lessons on using ICTs to improve water supplies

Blog | October 12, 2015 | Jen Williams

Over the past twelve months WaterAid, Itad and IRC carried out research to better understand why some ICT initiatives improving water supply in rural areas succeed, where others don’t.

In the fourth and final blog of this series, looking at eight ICT initiatives, researcher Jen Williams summarises the results of the research, and discusses how responsibility has led to responsiveness and action.

The 7-hour itch: Diary of a Kenyan eCitizen

Blog | October 15, 2015 | Nyambura Salome

As part of Making All Voices Count’s new research series, When Does the State Listen?, Dr. Nyambura Salome has been looking at whether Kenya’s new e-government platforms have increased citizen engagement with the state.

Here she talks about her own experience using the government new iTax platform that aims to provide a easy, accessible way for Kenyans to connect with their government's tax system.

#OGP15 – Is ‘open government’ really open?

Blog | October 26, 2015 | Carol Morgan

This week, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) holds its global summit in Mexico.

National governments and representatives from civil society, NGOs, media and research organisations will meet to discuss ‘how openness can improve public services, realise rights, drive economic growth, reduce poverty and make governments more accountable to the people they serve.’

Four encouraging signs from OGP’s Civil Society Day, and one not so encouraging one

Blog | October 28, 2015 | Carol Morgan

Yesterday’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) Civil Society Day was a mix (and occasional melee) of people and ideas. Small groups argued over issues from the value of hacking to tackle corruption, to how to actually get government interested in using crowd-sourced data.

OGP Summit ends with backslapping, but the real achievement was providing space for dissenters

Blog | October 30, 2015 | Carol Morgan

Today more than 2500 people from across the world will get on planes and trains back home after coming to Mexico for three days of discussions on open government.

South Africa’s social welfare system: what happens to policy when champions go away?

Blog | December 4, 2015 | Aalia Cassim

As part of Making All Voices Count’s research project When Does the State Listen? Aalia Cassim looks at the drivers of change in South Africa’s social welfare system since 1997, and identifies lessons about government champions, systemic capacity building, and the critical role of stakeholder coordination.

‘When’ is as important as ‘who’: governance champions, calendars & change

Blog | December 18, 2015 | Nicoline van der Torre

Earlier this year, as part of our joint workshop with the Transparency & Accountability Initiative and the GPSA, Rosemary McGee wrote about the importance of understanding citizen-led accountability programmes and actions from the perspective of the state.

Open government or new boys’ club?

Blog | March 8, 2016 | Duncan Edwards

International Women’s Day feels like a good time to reflect on whether we are considering carefully enough who is engaged in shaping of developing visions of open government...

At the OGP Summit in Mexico in October 2015, I chaired a panel which was originally entitled “In search of inclusion: getting a seat at the table”. I changed the title to “Open government or New Boys’ club?” I did this for two reasons: