For the last few months I have been in touch with the ICT4Gov project of WBI Open Government team exploring ways to work together and build a stronger ground for the real potential and impact of ICTs in governance. More specifically, the idea is to explore in detail how ICTs actually enhance citizen/stakeholder participation in the public sphere (and decision-making processes) and how can we measure their impact on the ground.
With this in mind, we have agreed with WBI to jointly support research in this area which as we are aware is being hyped in all sorts of way. The research will involve three stages: 1. A high-level state of the art paper on the topic highlighting trends and “de-hyping” the topic; 2. Research to develop an impact assessment methodology with clear indicators to be able to measure the real role of ICTs in enhancing (or not) stakeholder participation; and 3. A series of country-based innovative initiatives to test the assessment methodology.
We have agreed to fund the first stage of the overall process. We have already drafted ToRs, advertised the consultancy, and recruited a well-known international expert in the topic. The consultant has already submitted the required inception report. The paper will be finalized by early September.
The WB has already secured a 500k grant to finance the impact assessment methodology. The proposal is here. The research will be completed by February 2014.
We are onto something big!