Hivos International

Transparency, accountability and citizen engagement are essential for an open society where democratic institutions support and empower citizens to shape society and take control over their lives. When governments are transparent, civil society can help ensure leaders are serving their people and not themselves. Hivos has invested for years in a broad portfolio of initiatives that use smart technologies, data and other innovative ways to exert local and global influence that leads to stronger citizen engagement and greater governmental and corporate accountability. As a result, we have gained many insights and learned lessons on how using different forms of technology and data can contribute to raising citizens’ voices. This dossier contains a range of in-depth publications and short articles on the successes and limitations of using technology and data to trigger social change.

Making All Voices Count

A great number of publications and articles in this dossier were produced during the Making All Voices Count programme, from 2014 until November 2017. Making All Voices Count is a partnership between Hivos, Ushahidi and IDS that supports effective and accountable governance in 11 countries in Africa and Asia. Together with our partners, we aim to create more meaningful interactions between government and citizens by using technology and data to make government more effective and accountable and improve public participation. The initiatives vary from using radio shows to educate rural South Africans about their legal system and rights to combining open data and social media tools to track public budgets in Nigeria. We do not consider technology and data as a silver bullet for social change, but it offers great opportunities to inform and mobilise citizens, if used in smart ways. This requires making strategic use of technology and data for evidence-based advocacy and public scrutiny, and to help citizens to make informed decisions and engage in the social and political affairs that most concern them.

Related Publications

The vision, design and implementation of e-governance in India with its attendant “datafication” leads to many pertinent questions about the changing nature of governance and state-citizen engagement. This Brief argues that data-based decision-making in...

In the public sector, Spain has made big efforts not to lag behind digital leaders in terms of public e-readiness and e-government, but the country's economic and political frameworks have dragged it downwards in...

Much of the literature on citizen accountability focuses on citizen voices. This research briefing is one of four which turn the spotlight on the how the state behaves in instances of accountable governance. Each...

Related Articles

“Old Wine should become better as it ages”,

“Is New Wine good when it comes in plastic bottles?”

“I’m Old Wine, so what I am going to say might be a bit acid”

The proverb ‘Old wine in new bottles’ was tweaked and reformulated frequently on 24 March, when theInstitute of Social Studies held the third and last debate in its Target 2020 series. Following the 2010 ISS debate series on the WRR report on development cooperation, this series discussed the way forward towards the year 2020, by looking to development cooperation from three different angles: new economic powers, new (philanthropic) financial resources, and the new generation.

Hivos and The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) were pleased to accept the WSIS Project Prize from the International Telecommunications Union for the achievements of the...

Tunisia’s strongman President Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali has been deposed. But if his ruling party was kicked out the door, is it now coming back through the window?