Hivos International

Open and Responsive Government

Can social accountability bridge the chasms between states and citizens?

Blog | July 18, 2016 | John Gaventa

In his welcoming remarks at the GPSA Global Partners Forum in May 2016,  Dr. Junaid Ahmad, Chief of Staff of the Office of the World Bank President, told the several hundred participants: "is the bridge for building relationships between citizens and the state."

How, when and why do governments respond to citizens?

Blog | August 2, 2016 | Terence Darko

One of the most challenging issues faced by organisations using technology to support open and accountable governance is understanding just how governments work, and where the opportunities to affect change actually lie. As the tech for transparency and accountability (tech4T&A) sector has grown, so has its skill in creating new, digital communities, opening up information on governments’ activities, and organising huge public campaigns that have engaged millions across the world.

Connectivity vs connection? An inside story of tech4gov in The Philippines

Blog | August 4, 2016 | Anastasia-Areti Gavrili

The Philippines has known many nicknames. It was once called the ‘text-messaging capital of the world’. When smartphones and social media made their way into the Filipinos’ life, it rightfully won the title of the ‘selfie capital of the world’. Today, new titles keep emerging:  ‘the digital lifestyle capital in the making’, ‘the perfect digital storm’…

“So tell me what you want…”: Design thinking in tech4gov

Blog | August 17, 2016 | Anastasia-Areti Gavrili

“So tell me what you want, what you really, really want…”

It’s not often that you find yourself siting in a café in Manila listening to someone quoting the Spice Girls to describe their technology-driven project for transparency and accountability.

Citizen journalism in the Philippines: public pressure for public accountability

Blog | August 18, 2016 | Anastasia-Areti Gavrili

If you thought that your daily commute to work was difficult – getting the buses in London or riding the (usually late) trains in Amsterdam - and if you think your government should improve public transport, spare a thought for the people in North Kotabato, a village in the south of the Philippines…

One bridge that gets you to work.

Half a metre of stagnant flood water to wade through every day.

What is an active citizen? Reflections from South Africa

Blog | September 6, 2016 | Kekeletso Molebatsi

Since the launch of the Yowzit Connect-Tech project in 2014, I find myself constantly talking about creating an active citizenry. The ‘active citizenry’ term comes up up in daily conversations about the programme’s goals and future.

Voice or chatter: towards new meanings of citizen engagement

Blog | September 15, 2016 | Deepti Bharthur

Even in July, a time when the monsoons offers some respite from soaring summer temperatures in India, the heat continues to blaze in Jaipur. There’s been no rain. The state, situated in the arid western fringe of the country, is witnessing a drought for the second year running.

With great responsibility comes… no power? Open data in local government

Blog | October 7, 2016 | Carol Morgan

At the International Open Data Conference this year, the theme is'Global goals, local impact’ – embracing local government and community perspectives on the national and international open data commitments made over the last few years.

Layers of learning

Blog | October 11, 2016 | Fletcher Tembo

As practitioners and researchers, it is our learning that can help us to achieve the changes that are needed to take us towards more sustainable, powerful, fulfilling and democratic systems. This means reflecting on our assumptions, asking difficult questions and seeking answers from both research and practice.

Bridging traditional and digital activism: re-thinking political participation

Blog | October 18, 2016 | Monica Nthiga

“Digital activism can help formal forms of activism achieve scale – it’s not an end in itself” – Paul Mason,

Last week, we hosted one of our regular South-to-South Lab webinars, this time focused on how different organisations are using digital tools to create social movements.