Hivos International

Transparency & Accountability

Can citizens really engage with government actors in Ghana – and where does tech fit in?

Blog | March 20, 2015 | Monica Nthiga

What are the opportunities and challenges of citizen participation in good governance in Accra, Ghana?

That’s the question asked last month by representatives from civil society organisations, the private sector, technology enthusiasts, media, academia and government institutions who convened at the University of Ghana to explore the role of citizens in influencing policy and governance in Ghana. Programme Officer Monica Nthiga reflects on her experience facilitating some of the discussions and looks at key questions raised.

Is tech-enabled citizen engagement a game changer for development?

Blog | March 20, 2015 | Duncan Edwards

This week a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled “Engaging Citizens: a Game Changer for Development?” was launched by the World Bank in partnership with the London School of Economics (LSE), Overseas Development Institute, CIVICUS, and Participedia. With about 15,000 people already registered it does seem to have generated a lot of interest.

Supporting land rights for South Africa’s farm workers

Blog | April 2, 2015 | Precious Greehy

Earlier this month, Programme Officer Precious Greeley and her team travelled to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape of South Africa to talk with farm workers about their participation in South Africa’s Land Reform Process.

Below, Precious reflects on the stories they heard and the ongoing struggle to secure the rights of local communities.

Five things we learned at the Global Innovation Competition 2015

Blog | May 4, 2015 | Narayan Adhikari and Fayyaz Yaseen

Last month, Narayan Adhikari and Fayyaz Yaseen from Accountability Lab took part in the finals of the Global Innovation Competition (GIC) 2015. In this blog, they reflect on the GIC process, the people they met, and the lessons learned.

Narayan Adhikari and Fayyaz Yaseen from Accountability Lab

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.