Home > Fieldwork, Uncategorized > Fieldwork in four remote districts of Uganda

Fieldwork in four remote districts of Uganda

Wouter Dijkstra (University of Amsterdam) &
Kinyiri Salim (Makerere University Business School)

Introduction
This fieldwork will focus on information distribution through electronic media and how it can stimulate public service delivery in 4 different districts of Uganda. It will find out how and if citizens get service delivery related information about their district through electronic media and find out how and if they are able to contribute to this information flow. Because of the limited communication infrastructure in rural areas of Uganda we will focus on the local radio stations. Furthermore, we will try to find out how the mobile phone is used in the process of response.

By analyzing the radio as an interactive medium, the research will try to isolate challenges within Ugandan society that may hinder the dialogue between citizens and their leaders. This dialogue is imperative for progress in development. Only through accountability, transparency and collaboration can there be an increase in service delivery to civilians. By analyzing district development reports in relation to actual progress made in the district the research will see if a higher level of interactive media will facilitate better services to the people.

By looking at the radio, the research will show how electronic media can be used as a tool to facilitate a platform for the dialogue between citizens and officials. Evaluating the advantages and shortcomings of the radio as a medium it will formulate requirements for the use of other technologies that may assist in maximizing the efficiency, transparency and reliability of the platform. The research intends to employ knowledge on New Media Technologies (E.g. Mobile phones and the Internet) in finding ways to overcome the distance between civilians and their leaders.

The analysis will focus on interactive media tools that can provide measurable and comprehensible outputs which can be of help both to central authorities and civilians. This aim is set to encourage further dialogue between the two parties.

Methods
From the 9th of may until the 9th of august Wouter Dijkstra from the University of Amsterdam will collaborate with the Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and go into rural parts of Uganda to visit radio stations in several newly created districts. Kinyiri Salim of MUBS will be conducting research on the effectiveness of decentralization of districts. He will test district development objectives as set up by central government to the actual materializations of these targets.

Wouter will analyze the level of dialogue between district officials and citizens through local radio stations and evaluate how these stations disseminate information about their region and its districts to their listeners. Furthermore, he will consider the level of interactivity these stations offer. We expect that a higher level of dialogue will facilitate more public service at district level.

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