Changes on e-gov/A2I outcome?

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While completing the ROAR exercise for 2012, I run into his question.

What has changed under this outcome area (with and without UNDP support)? Please specify the evidence base used. (4000 characters maximum)

Here is what I quickly responded.

The decisive impact of the Arab Spring and other social movements in this area has been noticeable both within and outside UNDP. First, it has shown the catalytic relevance on new ICTs in supporting the participation of people in general and stakeholders in particular on governance processes that an lead to political and social change.

Secondly, the rapid evolution of mobile technologies in the last few years (and now reaching over 6 billion people, most of them living in the developing world) has provided networks and communications channels that have given voice to those who has none before. Emerging trends such as crowdsourcing and big data are opening new opportunities to get stakeholder input in decision making processes.

Third, the emerging Open Government global wave with its focus on participation, transparency, accountability and ICTs has open new doors to build and strengthen the links between public institutions and the people and fostering trust and confidence on the later. Linked to social innovation and a more proactive CSO sector, Open Government is now taking center stage in the broader areas of governance.

We are thus seeing a shift away from the traditional access to information area which was focused on the supply side (governments, policies, etc.) to open data where involvement of the demand side (people, CSOs, etc.) is critical for the achievement of any specified development target). While older A2I policies were indeed more reactive, new demands for transparency and accountability are more proactive and demand the open participation on stakeholders to have any meaning and impact at all. And it si exactly here where ICTs, new and old, are playing a transformational role in the process.

We are thus also moving from basic e-governance to a more complex ICTs for democratic governance (ICTDG) area.

Cheers, Raúl

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