Developing transparency through digital means

Examining institutional responses to civic technology in Latin America

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Rebecca Rumbul

A number of NGOs across the world currently develop digital tools to increase citizen interaction with official information. The successful operation of such tools depends on the expertise and efficiency of the NGO, and the willingness of institutions to disclose suitable information and data. It is this institutional interaction with civic technology that this study examines. The research explores empirical interview data gathered from government officials, public servants, campaigners and NGO's involved in the development and implementation of civic technologies in Chile, Argentina and Mexico. The findings identify the impact these technologies have had upon government bureaucracy, and the existing barriers to openness created by institutionalised behaviours and norms. Institutionalised attitudes to information rights and conventions are shown to inform the approach that government bureaucracy takes in the provision of information, and institutionalised procedural behaviour is shown to be a factor in frustrating NGOs attempting to implement civic technology.


  1. Summary
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Transparency, Accountability and the Role of Civic Technology
  5. ICTs and Governance in Latin America
  6. Research Methods
  7. Findings
    1. Argentina
    2. Chile
    3. Mexico
  8. Key Themes
    1. The Global Stage
    2. Services in the Growing Digital Divide
    3. An Institutionalised Fear of Bureaucratic Consequence
  9. Conclusion
  10. References

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Cite this

Rumbul, R. (2016). Developing transparency through digital means. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct 2021].