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Joshua Goldstein: Can Information Technology Improve Governance in East Africa?

Thursday, November 18, 2010
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

In East Africa, a small network of technologist and civil society actors, armed with an open source ethos and low cost digital tools, have launched an impressive array of applications to help community groups access public information, track public officials, monitor elections and respond to emergencies.

While governments in the region also have the ability to use these tools to lower costs, improve service delivery and strengthen citizen feedback mechanisms, too often progressive leaders are working in isolation and against immense bureaucratic challenges.

In this hour, I’ll present an introduction to civic technology in East Africa, and explore possible mechanisms to support collaboration between technologists and public leaders as they attempt to improve the way government works. We will also hear from Innovations for Successful Societies, a program of Princeton’s Bobst Center for Peace and Justice and Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs, that chronicles the challenges reform leaders face in serving publics better and helps share solutions across boundaries.

Joshua Goldstein is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.