World e-Parliament Report 2010

The United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union have released the World e-Parliament Report 2010. The Report, prepared by the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, intends to help legislatures to harness the potential benefits of ICT for their work and establish key goals and priorities for exploiting this valuable resource. While providing evidence of the complexities of e-parliament, the report suggests ways to overcome some of the obstacles to the effective use of technology in parliamentary settings. The findings  are based on the results of the Global Survey of ICT in Parliaments conducted between July and November 2009, to which 134 parliamentary assemblies responded.

via World e-Parliament Report 2010.

Plans laid for West African Internet Governance Forum

The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and other partners, with support from the Open Society Institute of West Africa (OSIWA) is launching the West Africa Internet Governance Forum. It aims are:

  1. To facilitate Internet policy discussions on a multi-stakeholder platform for issues relating to the development and the governance of the Internet in West Africa.
  2. To increase awareness of Internet governance issues in West Africa
  3. To facilitate the participation of a broad range of West African stakeholders in the IGF process.
  4. To create an opportunity for West Africans to engage in/contribute towards discussions regarding spam, Internet and Security, and other IGF related issues at the global Internet Governance Forum.
  5. To create a systematic, bottom up, national, regional and global policy dialogue process in West Africa.

via FOSSFA on 27 May 2020

Call for papers on ICT4D transparency

The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) is calling for chapter proposals for its next annual anthology which will focus on  “Transparency through ICT – empowering people and communities”.  The intended target audience is both Swedish and development community partners, including civil society. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Mobiles as a means to fight corruption
  • E- governance – fighting corruption through systemic change
  • Expose – investigate – disseminate: looking at Wikileaks and similar services
  • ICT as a tool for increasing transparency of national and international aids flows
  • Transparency without users – the need to empower citizens and civil society

Proposal deadline is 15 March with chapters to be submitted by 15 May.

see  SPIDER – Call for Chapter Proposals for next issue of ICT4D Series

UN publishes report on post-conflict public administration

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has published Reconstructing Public Administration after Conflict: Challenges, Practices and Lessons Learned. Strong on the role ICTs need to play in the communication of information for “citizen-centric service delivery”, the report ignores the need for well-constructed information systems in institution building and the strengthening of public administration in general.

Ugandan district e-governance project delayed

A Ugandan government plan to wire all district local governments on a virtual platform to popularise e-governance and minimise burgeoning administrative spending has been blocked by Parliament. The House committee on Information, Communication and Technology says it will authorise implementation of the $60 million (Shs114b) project only after officials offer proper accountability for the national fibre-optic backbone Phase I expenditures.

Suspecting hefty finances for the project could have been squandered, MPs directed the Auditor General to investigate the anomalies, including complaints of inflated costs and “delayed and incomplete” works. The country’s $106 million (Shs2 trillion) massive three-phase project, pioneered by China’s Huawei Technologies initially at $30 million (Shs57b), has been fraught with alleged fraud and mismanagement.

via Tabu Butagira of the Daily Monitor, 11 Jan 2010

Gambia plans biometric voter registration

The Gambian Electoral Commission has committed itself to the introduction of a new biometric voter registration system, to be in place before presidential elections in September 2011. Two international companies, CODE Inc from Canada and Zetes from Belgium, have been shortlisted for the contract and are due to conduct a head-to-head mock registration exercise this month.

Gambia is a small country with an electorate of less than one million. Nevertheless it would seem to me to be unrealistic to deploy a new system from scratch in less than eighteen months.

via Senegambia News, 13 Jan 2010

4th e-Governance Africa Forum

Effective Governance, transparent public services and citizen empowerment through Information and Communication Technologies is the theme of the 4th Annual e-Governance Africa Forum 2010 in Maputo from 23 to 25 March.

Organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) in conjunction with the ICT Ministry of Mozambique, the Forum is part of the CTO’s mandate to facilitate and promote ICT development through knowledge-sharing events. Key topics will include: Government policy and regulation; Private sector initiatives; Public Private Partnerships; Funding; Infrastructure; Technology; Service provision; Capacity building; Content generation; e-Gov and revenue generation; Empowering marginalised groups: women, youth and rural communities; and Practical case studies.

The CTO is calling for papers for presentation at the Forum – either in the form of case studies or expertise in any of the key topic areas. Among the international delegation present at the Forum will be Policy Makers, Regulators, Operators, Financiers, Academicians, Technology and Software Developers,International Aid Agents and Civil Society Operatives. Those interested in presenting at the Forum are asked to contact Samuel Fletcher on  +44 208 600 3809 or e-mail s.fletcher@cto.int.

Integrity of Somaliland voter registration system in doubt

Delays in the holding of elections in the Somaliland region of Somalia are being blamed, inter alia, on the failure of a new voter registration system to produce a credible electoral roll.

According to SomalilandPress,

The new electoral commission has a difficult job ahead including clearing the mistakes in the voter registration system. A high-tech biometric technology is being used in the registration; however, the use of such technology was too early for Somaliland due to lack of public awareness and infrastructure in the country. Somaliland is one of the first African countries to use such sophisticated technology to empower democracy.

Moreover, the registration process challenged tribal demography that is sensitive in Somaliland and the region in general, because all tribes wanted to score high in the census. This led many tribesmen to enroll two or three times, which tripled the expected number. The capacity of the server could not process the high number. At this point we can say, modern technology undermined the growing democracy of Somaliland.

The new system, which involves the production of voter and civil ID cards containing both photographs and fingerprints, was introduced in the second half of 2008. The registration campaign, endorsed by both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, was completed by January 2009.

In reality the registration campaign was beset by problems – both technical and political. A recent report by the International Crisis Group documents these in some detail.

via Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi of SomalilandPress.

Nigeria postpones electronic voting

Amid public expectations of measures to be taken to bolster the credibility of future polls in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said that it had no expenditure plans in next year’s budget for the much-canvassed electronic voting system. The INEC position, which was expressed by its Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi Kaugama, at a session on the defence of its N47.212 billion proposed expenditure in the 2010 budget, came against the backdrop of failed attempts by the Commission to adopt the e-voting system for the 2007 general elections.

The elections were adjudged by international and domestic observers to have been largely flawed. Election Petitions Tribunals and the Court of Appeal sitting in different state capitals had voided a number of electoral mandated that were not properly secured.

Kaugama told the Committee on INEC that the Commission did not consider it necessary to make provision for the e-voting in the 2010 budget. He stated that the Commission has in place a system to transmit election results electronically, adding that the e-voting machine is the only missing component.

via Sufuyan Ojeifo of  This Day on allAfrica.com, 10 Dec 2009

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