Hivos International

Open and Responsive Government

Citizen-generated data in the information ecosystem

Blog | March 21, 2017 | Ssanyu Rebecca

The call for a data revolution by the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel in the run up to Agenda 2030 stimulated debate and action in terms of innovative ways of generating and sharing data.

Whose voice really counts? Machine politics and citizen voice aggregation in emerging democracies

Blog | March 28, 2017 | Ali Cheema, Asad Liaqat and Shandana Khan Mohmand

A central feature of democracy is that political parties aggregate citizen voice, and transform it into political mandates and programmatic policies when they form governments. Political parties are thus a central channel for making citizens’ voices count towards policies.

How to work with government teams

Blog | April 19, 2017 | Ivy Ong

Citizens have fast-increasing access to tools that enable them to monitor government performance and express their views in real time. Efforts to empower citizens need to be accompanied by state mechanisms to ensure accountability and responsiveness.

Greater accountability and responsiveness can only be brought about by working with government teams across all levels.

Open Cities: Firefighting at your fingertips in Indonesia

Blog | May 22, 2017 | Open Data Labs

The hype around “Smart Cities” has influenced discussions on urbanism worldwide. Locally in Indonesia, the concept of smart cities is becoming more popular and cities across the country are starting to integrate and harness technology for more efficient and smarter public administration.

However, more often than not, smart city approaches fail to provide room for citizen participation in the policy-making process.

Youth in Action: How Jakarta can say “No” to disaster

Blog | May 23, 2017 | Open Data Labs

The Innovating for Open Cities project, supported by Making All Voices Count, had us setting an ambitious goal: to deliver the most innovative solutions to improve cities across Indonesia, inspired and designed by citizens for the benefit of citizens.

We are trying to change the trend from “smart cities” to “open cities”, steering technology and data-driven cities to people-centered ones.

A bottom-up initiative empowering grassroots communities in Indonesia

Blog | May 24, 2017 | Open Data Labs

Supported by Making All Voices Count, the Innovating for Open Cities project began with the hope to make cities across Indonesia more open and transparent.

Ratings and responsiveness in South Africa: Site visits with Yowzit

Blog | June 7, 2017 | Keke Molebatsi

The main challenge that Yowzit has faced in scaling up our model of transparency and accountability has been in going beyond the traditional user base of our ratings-and-review platform. We have tried to go beyond our predominantly suburban, middle class users, who have access to connectivity, to ensure that our platform is more representative of the demographics of South Africa - by including blue collar, mostly township-based users, with limited access to connectivity.

Tech innovation hubs: A way forward towards policy engagement and co-creation

Blog | June 20, 2017 | Preston Whitt

Let’s start with the punchline from Results for Development’s MAVC-sponsored research on tech innovation hubs and policy co-creation:

"The full potential of tech innovation hubs to contribute to a more vibrant local policy ecosystem is yet to be achieved".

In search of productive local councillor-civil society engagement in South Africa

Blog | June 29, 2017 | Evan Lieberman

Was it crazy to pursue a research project that focused on the ‘human dimension’ of politicians, at a moment when politics has become more hostile than at any other time in South Africa's democratic era?

How can programmes such as Making All Voices Count utilise innovation as a strategy for addressing complex governance problems?

This think piece draws from a desk review of experience in using innovation to increase social inclusion, and an exchange of ideas in an e-dialogue between practitioners and scholars in January 2014. It draws on research and experiential evidence, and borrows its framing and title from the concept of 'maker culture'. It explores who innovators are and how they innovate, and the roles different champions play in innovation systems.