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iHub Research By Leo Mutuku / June 12, 2014

Buntwani 2014 ­ “The potential of ICT in strengthening citizen engagement and participation”


The 2014 Buntwani event in Kenya will be the first of a regular series of events to be held in a different African country each year. The event aims to be a conversation starter and facilitator among various stakeholders actively involved and/or interested in the potential of ICT in strengthening citizen engagement and participation in Africa, as well as showcase the innovations that work and aim to decipher the strategies that make them work. As such, the following outcomes are envisaged for the first event:

  1. Determine if ICT is playing a role in strengthening and accelerating citizen engagement and government responsiveness in Kenya.
  2. Highlight which ICT tools and innovation are making an impact in support of strengthening citizen engagement and identify the reason for their success (separate hype and actual impact).
  3. Identify best practises used in measuring the impact of ICT tools and innovation in the citizen engagement space as well as what effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms currently exist that provide evidence that these interventions contribute to effective citizen engagement.
  4. Encourage stakeholder collaboration and avoid the “silo syndrome”.
  5. Document before, during and after the event all examples of ICT being utilised in support of strengthening citizen engagement in Kenya.

The event agenda will be shaped around the following three session streams:

  1. Policy ­ focus on policies that are working and/or need to be in place to support the implementation of ICT interventions aimed at strengthening citizen engagement, and also measure the impact of these in communities.
  2. Technology and innovation ­ focus on ICT tools and applications that have been successful in strengthening citizen engagement in Kenya and beyond, as well as the reasons why others have failed or not made the same impact.
  3. Citizen participation ­ focus on successful strategies that are being used to facilitate citizen engagement in government decision­making processes, the challenges encountered by various stakeholders in ensuring active citizen engagement and working with government, and how ICT can be an enabler in this regard.

In order to showcase the best projects, innovations and ideas being implemented in, or relevant to Kenya, Techsoup Global and the Open Institute are inviting submissions that, upon selection, shall be presented and exhibited at Buntwani. Successful applicants shall be provided with a time slot in the programme to present as well as an exhibition booth where they can further interact with the delegates attending this inaugural event.

To apply, please fill in the application form here. The deadline for submissions is July 11, 2014.



Jay Bhalla

Executive Director Open Institute

David Barnard

Vice­President: Africa TechSoup Global 

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Author : Leo Mutuku

Leo leads the data science lab at iHub Research. She conducts research on open data, data science and visualisation, design research methods, market and investment research.

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