ICTs Help Citizens Voice Concerns over Water Or Do They?
Information and communications
technologies (ICTs) are widely seen as a new avenue for citizens to hold
service providers and government to account. But if citizens live in rural
Africa, Asia or Latin America, are they able and willing to report on service
delivery failures? And are service providers or government officials willing to
listen and respond? We explore these questions using an analysis of recent ICT
reporting initiatives to improve rural water sustainability. The findings
demonstrate that models where a service provider is committed to responsiveness
and designs an in-house fault-reporting and maintenance system show greater
responsiveness and accountability to users than crowdsourcing models where
users are encouraged to report faults. This raises the question of whether ICT
is transformative, or whether service improvement simply hinges on making
service provision designs more accountable.
IOPD Technical Secretariat