ICT and Citizen Efficacy

The Role of Civic Technology in Facilitating Government Accountability and Citizen Confidence

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Rebecca Rumbul

This paper examines whether civic technology ICTs provide an effective method for enhancing the political efficacy of citizens and their perceived accountability of governments. Using a survey-based methodology, a quantitative analysis was conducted of the users of civic action sites in the UK, Kenya, South Africa and USA. The key question examined is whether the particularized or citizen-audit actions that these sites facilitate have a spill-over effect in altering the level to which citizens believe they are able to hold government to account. The results suggest that citizen efficacy and perceptions of government accountability are enhanced. Stark differences in user demographics between territories demonstrate a wide spectrum of civic technology usage, however, with common confidence in the efficacy of the ICT. The findings suggest that publication and user-facilitation of government information through the medium of civic technology in developed and developing countries increases feelings of external efficacy and government accountability.

This paper was originally presented at WITFOR 2016. The final authenticated version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-44447-5_20 and should be cited as:

Rumbul R. (2016) ICT and Citizen Efficacy: The Role of Civic Technology in Facilitating Government Accountability and Citizen Confidence. In: Mata F., Pont A. (eds) ICT for Promoting Human Development and Protecting the Environment. WITFOR 2016. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, vol 481. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-44447-5_20


  1. Summary
  2. Version of record
  3. Introduction
  4. Efficacy, confidence and participation
  5. Data and methods
  6. Findings
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

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Cite this

Rumbul, R. (2016). ICT and Citizen Efficacy. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: https://research.mysociety.org/publications/ict-and-citizen-efficacy [Accessed 23 Oct 2021].