Influence of Technology Adoption Factors on E-participation in Kenya Mdas
The Constitution of Kenya through various articles demands that citizen participation is taken into account at all levels of government in coming up with decisions that affect their livelihoods. Further, there is a global push by key international bodies to ensure citizen participation is upheld. This is evidenced by various international ranking such as United Nations E-participation index that measures level of participation as provided by ICT tools otherwise called E-participation. Kenya has been ranked poorly in provision of e-participation despite this a being a constitutional requirement. This research sought to establish and evaluate the status of e-participation tools and initiatives, their reach, use and effectiveness. Further, the research sought to determine the influence of specific technology adoption factors on e-participation i.e. compatibility of tool to user experiences, citizen awareness, complexity of the tool and relative advantage of the tool. The main aim being to develop a set of guiding principles that can be followed by other departments while trying to provide for e-participation. Four government agencies were sampled based on background information on tool availability through judgment sampling. The research instrument used was a structured questionnaire with both open ended and closed questions. Data was collected via focus group discussions and one on interviews. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics in Microsoft Excel and Correlational analysis using SPSS statistical package. The key constructs for the study that informed the hypothesis were compatibility of tool to design vs reality gaps, complexity of the tool, relative advantage of the tool and citizen awareness to existence of tool. These were informed by the technology adoption factors as identified by the literature review on technology adoption models. The research established that despite participation being a legal requirement, less has been done to ensure participation of people using ICT tools despite the rapid growth in technology. None of the samples had achieved the highest level of participation of engaging citizens in decision making. Further with a view to improving e-participation the research established that compatibility of tool to user experiences, citizen awareness and complexity of tool have significant correlation to level of e-participation. The research recommends that government institutions need to scale up efforts to realize e-participation. Careful consideration ought to be given to the research findings in trying to achieve higher levels of e-participation.
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