citizen engagement

Mobile Phones for Good Governance – Challenges and Way Forward

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Feb 04, 2011
Mobile Phones for Good Governance – Challenges and Way Forward data sheet 1709 Views
Hellström, Johan
Publication Date: 
Oct 2008
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

During the past ten years, we have witnessed how mobile phones and the simple functions of voice and text messaging (SMS) can empower citizens and affect the way citizens interact with each other and with the society as whole. Mobile phones are also thought to open up for a deepened democracy through citizen participation and insight into state affairs, through influencing the political decision making process, and helping in holding governments accountable. Is this the case?

So far, few East African government institutions have adopted the idea of using mobile phones as a tool for service delivery and a way to communicate with the citizens. This paper describes a few interesting cases and pilots, focusing on East Africa (mainly Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda), where mobile phones and mobile applications have been used for improving governance, either independently or as a compliment to other methods and strategies. The paper will critically examine some of the challenges as well as the main opportunities for improving good governance through mobile phones and present ideas on how these projects could effectively be scaled-up.

Factors Influencing Citizen Adoption of SMS-Based e-Government Services

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Sep 02, 2010
Factors Influencing Citizen Adoption of SMS-Based e-Government Services data sheet 2056 Views
Susanto, T, D and Goodwin, R.
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 
Journal article

This paper identifies the factors that determine citizens’ acceptance of SMS-based e-government services. It reports on a web-based survey, paper-based questionnaires, and phone-call interviews that collected 159 responses from 25 countries. The results indicate that there are fifteen perceptions toward using SMS-based e-government services that may influence citizens to use or to reject the services:

  • perceived ease of use
  • perceived efficiency in time and distance
  • perceived value for money; perceived usefulness
  • perceived responsiveness; perceived convenience
  • perceived relevance, quality and reliability of the information
  • trust in the SMS technology
  • perceived risk to user privacy
  • perceived reliability of the mobile network and the SMS-based system
  • trust in government and perceived quality of public services
  • perceived risk to money
  • perceived availability of device and infrastructure
  • perceived compatibility; and
  • perceived self-efficacy in using SMS.

Whether or not a citizen adopts an SMS-based e-government service is influenced by these perceptions. To increase the acceptance of SMS-based e-government services, the systems should address all of these belief factors. An intensive advertising campaign for the services in all mass media channels is critically important to make citizens aware of and to provide detailed knowledge about the services. The advertising campaign should involve people who influence individuals’ decision making. These people include friends, family, teachers, experts, public figures, and government officials. This study found that Notification services are the most frequently used followed by Pull SMS, Listen, and Transaction SMS services. Notification services could be an appropriate starting point for governments who want to establish SMS-based e-government services.