Enabling Social Sustainability of E-Participation through Mobile Technology
Muganda, Nixon O
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The social sustainability of information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) projects such as e-government in developing nations remains a vexing issue. Particularly pertinent to the concept of e-government is that of electronic participation (e-participation) of citizens in services offered over an e-government platform, yet studies claim that such initiatives exacerbate the social exclusion problem. Globally, and specifically in Africa, the ineffective participation of citizens is marked by waning confidence in service delivery capabilities of political institutions, yet e-government is considered as one of the reform instrument for the attainment of good governance. Governments and pressure groups in many countries are realizing that these trends are problematic and are seeking to broaden and deepen citizen participation in governance, notably through the use of mobile technologies that continues to play a vital role in the trajectory of ICT development in Africa. This study advances the prominent role that mobile technology will play in anchoring e-participation strategies and policies to improve the social sustainability of ICT4D projects geared toward improving governance. The paper presents the results of cluster analysis of a survey aimed at assessing the accessibility, attitudes and the skills necessary for embedding mobile technology as part of an e-participation strategy.