Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) that function independent of the internet are the most successful for use in governance, according to a report on ICT and Governance in East Africa, conducted by iHub Reasearch, the research arm of the Kenyan startup incubator, iHub.
The research analyzed the existing use of ICT in governance in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and found that ICT tools for governance is most effective in cases where they are low-cost and non-Internet based.
According to the study, mobile and web application don’t push the needle on democratization and decentralization of governance as much as simple and low-cost solutions enabled by radio and feature phones.
“Mobile and web applications, which are created mostly in tech hubs and tech competitions such as hackathons, are popular and hyped only among people who are particularly interested in technology and applications.”
The study recommends a broad-based consultation with citizens when ICT solutions for governance are in the works in order to ensure adoption.
The study was sponsored by ICT4Democracy East Africa Network with support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. You can read the full report here [PDF].