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 1994 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.