The ICT4Accountability project successfully transformed from a theoretical blog into a practical method – Called TRAC FM – that is now deployed in 4 african countries at over 36 radio stations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia.
As the concept of TRAC FM is based on research conducted in 2009, we are happy that our work in the field remains relevant to academic debate. UK based IDS (Institute for Development Studies) is a leading global charity for international development research, teaching and communications. In 2012 IDS was asked by Hivos to conduct research into the effectiveness of T4TAIs. TRAC FM was picked as a case study and worked with IDS to share data and contacts.
In Uganda, even at the peoples parliament of Ekimeeza, where intellectuals are supposed to be gathered, there is a substantial lack of numbers, statistics and measurable facts. People have not mastered advanced counting and have no logical perception of values and numbers. 2000 – 500 = a big problem for a lot of people. So how can they fully understand the bigger picture of the situation they are in? When they are presented with a series of numbers, for instance the amount of money coming in to the country through development aid or the amount of tax money spent on government housing, there are very few who can comprehend what is meant by 400 million dollars or 700.000 Euro. Read more…
Questions and Answers after 2 weeks.
Because my notes are too extensive to post I will give an update on my main research questions.
1.What kind of relationship exists between political power brokers and civilians?
2.Why do civilians fail to become politically aware members of their society?
1. To answer the first questions it is imperative to define the ‘power brokers’. This is a very complex story in Uganda for it is a system where many different groups, cultures, clans, families, tribes, parties etc. intertwine.
2. There is a huge gap between civilians and leaders. Uganda is still a class society and as a member of the upper class, you should not mingle with the lower class. Furthermore, a great part of the civilians population in Uganda (especially in rural areas) is ignorant of the role of government.
1. How can New Media Technologies help in a constructive way to tackle some of the major challenges created by the limited access society?
2. Can inverted panoptic surveillance be applied to Ugandan leadership?
1. Tools and applications related to New Media can be used in creating awareness among civilians and providing knowledge to the people ignorant of their political power. Accountability, transparency and accessibility to information are key in this process.
2. As I see it now, inverted surveillance is not an option as of yet. Civilians have no authority and means of power over their leaders. However, when a strong and responsible central government can be formed, civilians can be used to monitor on district level, making it easier for government to regulate and manage.