Parliament and the people

How digital technologies are shaping democratic information flow in Sub-Saharan Africa


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Rebecca Rumbul, Gemma Moulder, Alex Parsons


The publication and dissemination of parliamentary information in developed countries has been shown to improve citizen engagement in governance and reduce the distance between the representative and the represented. While it is clear that these channels are being used, it is not clear how they are being used, or why some digital tools achieve greater reach or influence than others.

With the support of the Indigo Trust, mySociety has undertaken research to better understand how digital tools for parliamentary openness and engagement are operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, and how future tools can be better designed and targeted to achieve greater social impact. Read the executive summary of the report's conclusions.

The report provides an analysis of the data and digital landscapes of four case study countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda), and interrogates how digital channels are being used in those countries to create and disseminate information on parliamentary activity. It examines the existing academic and practitioner literature in this field, compares and contrasts the landscape in each case study country, and provides a thematic overview of common and relevant factors in the operation of digital platforms for democratic engagement in parliamentary activity.


Contents

  1. Executive summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Problem statement
  4. Research methods
  5. Literature review
  6. Case studies
    1. Data Pricing Comparison
    2. Kenya
    3. Nigeria
    4. South Africa
    5. Uganda
  7. Thematic findings
    1. Connectivity landscape
    2. Parliamentary structures
    3. Access to Information and its quality
    4. Public understanding
    5. Digital parliamentary monitoring tools
    6. Social media
    7. Traditional media
    8. Political will
    9. Critical success factors
  8. Recommendations
  9. Further research
  10. Conclusions
    1. What this means
    2. Finally
  11. Acknowledgements
  12. About mySociety

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Cite this

Rumbul, R., Moulder, G. and Parsons, A. (2018). Parliament and the people. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: http://research.mysociety.org/publications/parliament-and-people [Accessed 19 Dec 2018].