Hivos International

Transparency & Accountability

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.

Voice in the Indian context: furthering accountability

Blog | April 5, 2017 | Deepti Bharthur

In India, the digital governance regime has brought with it a mixed bag of opportunities and teething pains for the citizenry. On one hand, there is much to be appreciated about a move to the digital.

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.

Digital technologies exclude

Blog | May 2, 2017 | Tony Roberts

This month I have been in the Philippines researching participatory technology initiatives designed to include Filipino citizens in participatory governance programmes.

Surprisingly I came back more concerned about the ways that digital technologies exclude the most marginalised. In this blogpost I explain the reasons why.

Engage, incubate and collaborate: How we innovate and help make Indonesian cities more open

Blog | May 18, 2017 | Open Data Labs

When we first started our Innovating for Open Cities project last year with the support of Making All Voices Count, we embarked on a mission to demonstrate the value of open data in improving citizens’ lives in Indonesian cities, specifically in Jakarta and Banda Aceh.

The goal was to open up opportunities for citizens and civil society to influence policy-making at the local level and collectively tackle urban challenges more quickly and effectively.

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.

Looking back on Map Kibera

Blog | May 24, 2017 | Erica Hagen

For nearly a decade, Map Kibera has been using interactive community mapping to engage citizens in a Nairobi slum, and to present evidence to policy-makers on what is needed.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to spend some time learning and thinking about Map Kibera’s work, thanks to a practitioner research grantfrom Making All Voices Count.

The story of two tech platforms

Blog | June 1, 2017 | Keke Molebatsi

Learning visits offer a range of benefits, well beyond just taking in information and understanding the work your host is doing.

It’s more of an intellectual and physical journey that creates a common understanding, relationships forged in the fun and hardships of shared experience, commitments to new approaches, and a moment of reflection for the host on the journey travelled towards achieving (or not achieving) the objectives.