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Excerpts from a UNDP report.

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"UNDP, in partnership with PIWA, has carried out this exploratory study to gain a better understanding of e-governance practices in the region, focusing in particular on citizen participation. The study aims to pave the way for future action and to document problems in this field.

The study focuses on six countries: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. More specifically, it includes an introduction to e-participation challenges in West Africa, case studies of initiatives in this area, and guidelines and recommendations for improving participation in the region through ICT.

 

The interest in e-governance is based on a reality: ICTs have advanced considerably, including in Africa, and have broken through to social and political life. In view of the numerous advantages offered by these technologies (speed, cost reduction, wider reach), they are now crucial for the work of the public sector, for civil society organizations and for governments, which use them for intra-governmental communication and for providing services and communicating with citizens. We can therefore argue that ICTs enhance citizen participation by enabling citizens to interact better with each other and with their elected officials. In a nutshell, this is e-participation.

E-governance and e-participation are therefore crucial phases in the development of government processes. However, despite the opportunities they offer, they also introduce new challenges, particularly for the countries targeted by this study and, more broadly, West African countries: limited and unequal access to ICTs, lack of infrastructure, electronic fraud, and the absence of or inadequate legal frameworks. "

(...)

This report is the fruit of a partnership between Panos Institute West Africa (PIWA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It was supervised by Ken Lohento, Coordinator of PIWA’s ICT programme, with the collaboration of Pierre Dandjinou, ICT and Governance Advisor (UNDP Regional Centre, Dakar) and Raul Zambrano, ICT and Governance Adviser (Democratic Governance Group, UNDP Bureau for Development Policy, New York).

The study was piloted at the regional level by Perpétus Jacques Houngbo. At the national level, the interviews were carried out by Rachid M. Traoré (Burkina Faso), Isaías Barreto Olímpio Da Rosa (Cape Verde), Tiémoman Kone (Côte d’Ivoire), Dan-Bright S. Dzorgbo (Ghana), Tunde Adegbola (Nigeria), and Malick Ndiaye (Senegal). The document was finalized and edited by Raul Zambrano and Ken Lohento with the help of Pauline Cadéac, research assistant (UNDP). The team would like to acknowledge the support and inputs from UNDP and PIWA colleagues who contributed greatly to the completion of the study. "

Download the full report (pdf) - from UNDP website

 

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