Hivos International

Transparency & Accountability

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."

‘Empowering the empowered’: citizen voices in South Africa

Blog | July 26, 2016 | Kekeletso Molebatsi

“It struck me that this was new to him—having someone actively solicit his views and opinions on how to make the life of a street trader better…”

As an online ratings platform for public services, South African firm Yowzit is focussed on how to make the voices of ordinary people not only heard, but listened to, by those in power.

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.

Context and accountability in Pakistan: a new generation of champions?

Blog | August 25, 2016 | Faran Mahmood

Imagine a democracy where party leaders’ larger-than-life personality dwarfs the party itself, and where candidates are elected solely on the basis of their political or personal affiliation – regardless of their knowledge of issues, answers to questions during televised debates and their political experience.

Imagine a country where voters have no idea about their party’s election manifesto, and where those who do ask questions are left with little clue as to what the party’s actual plan of action really is.

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.