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DOT-COM and GKD
The DOT-COM Alliance and the Global Knowledge for Development List (GKD) are working together to sponsor ICT for development-related discussions on specific topics, often following DOT-COM events. These discussions are being hosted and moderated by Education Development Center (EDC), who manage GKD.
Empowering Local Communities
Improving Local Government through ICT
JOIN THE ONLINE DISCUSSION
May 2 - May 27, 2005
“ICT can contribute to fostering empowerment and participation and making government processes more efficient and transparent by encouraging communication and information-sharing among people and organizations, and within government.”
(Creating a Development Dynamic).
“ICTs can empower people and significantly improve local government” – statements like this are often treated cynically. Yet some communities have managed to use ICT to make their local governments more responsive, transparent, and efficient. Widespread trends toward decentralization make it crucial to learn from these communities.
This discussion focuses on the question: How can ICT empower local communities and improve local governments, especially during a process of decentralization?
Decentralization – the transfer of power from central to local government – has a highly questionable record. Decentralization reforms are often poorly designed and executed. As a result, local governments fail to fulfill their new responsibilities – fiscal management, strategic planning, and very basic public services degenerate.
Yet many donors and citizens continue to believe that decentralization provides new opportunities for active participation of an informed citizenry that will create more responsive, transparent and effective local government.
Can ICT help improve the poor record of decentralization and make the goals of decentralization a reality? Can ICT empower citizens with the information and means they need to make their governments work effectively for them? What is needed to make ICT an effective tool for good local governance? These questions are crucial to the well-being of people throughout the developing world.
This discussion will seek to answer these questions with concrete examples, specific cases, experience and recommendations that can guide local communities, local governments, ICT practitioners and decentralization experts. Join the discussion and share what you know regarding:
• Cases of successful decentralization efforts that have utilized ICT effectively
• Challenges to introducing ICT successfully into decentralization efforts
• Technology options that work – and those that don’t
• Cases of local governments using ICT to improve transparency, responsiveness and efficiency
• Cases of citizens/civil society groups using ICT to participate more fully in local government decision-making
• Technologies that have proven particularly effective in improving local government
Week 1: Can ICTs support successful decentralization and improve local governance?
Week 2: How can local communities (e.g., businesses, NGOs, media, schools, etc.) use ICT to participate more effectively in local decision-making?
Week 3: How can local governments use ICT to improve the efficiency of service delivery to local citizens and businesses?
Week 4: Where do we want local governments to be in three years, and what should we be doing now, using ICT, to help realize that goal?
This discussion is sponsored by the USAID-funded DOT-COM Alliance and hosted by GKD. It will focus on "Using ICT to Empower Local Communities and Improve Local Government" for four weeks (May 2 to May 27, 2005). However, GKD is a major forum for exchange of experience and knowledge on all aspects of ICT for development, with thousands of members from over 100 countries. The ongoing GKD forum will continue after this discussion topic.
Visit the archives of this and other past discussions.
How to Join DOT-COM Discussions via the GKD List
If you are already a member of the GKD list, you will automatically be able to take part in DOT-COM discussions. If you are not already a member, by joining the GKD list, you will be able to participate in this and future discussions.
Anyone who has electronic mail with Internet access can join the DOT-COM discussions by subscribing to the GKD List. To join please send an e-mail to:
Do not enter a subject. In the body of the message, type the text:
Do not put anything after GKD. You will receive a Welcome Letter to the List.
Unsubscribing from the Discussion
To unsubscribe, send a message to:
Do not enter a subject. In the body of the message, type the text:
Do not put anything after GKD.
Rules of List Discussion
This discussion is moderated. In order to make it most productive, we have adopted two simple rules:
Messages violating the rules will not be posted.
- Messages must be relevant to the topics of the discussion.
- Profanity and personal attacks are not acceptable.
Purpose of GKD
- Please introduce yourself in your first posting, including such information as experience with ICTs and development, activity in related groups, etc.
- Please tell others about this discussion.
- For our members in developing countries, access and down-loading are expensive. Therefore, please do not keep the body of the original text in your replies, except as absolutely necessary.
- Make the subject header as descriptive as possible about the message content. When you respond to a message, keep the original subject heading intact unless it is no longer relevant to the message content.
- This list has a global membership. Please exercise tolerance and respect toward other participants whose views may differ from your own.
GKD was established to facilitate broad discussion of the role and impacts of knowledge, including information/communications technologies (ICTs), for sustainable development. With over 2,500 members from over 100 countries, GKD offers a major forum for the exchange of experience and knowledge. GKD examines a range of themes related to the use of ICTs for development:
- Policies, strategies, tools, and partnerships to improve access to and use of information resources by the poor in rural and urban areas alike
- Case studies, best practices, and other examples of activities that have expanded access to information and knowledge throughout developing countries
- Success stories of efforts, including public-private partnerships, to build "knowledge for development" capacity in developing countries
- Research findings related to information/communications technologies (ICTs) and development
http://www.GKDknowledge.org. With the generous support of infoDev, EDC has built a Web-based database of the GKD messages to provide a valuable, "user-friendly" resource from the rich flow of information that GKD provides. This database includes all past and present messages from GKD discussions on a variety of topics related to ICTs for Development.
The GKD list and all discussions are moderated by Education Development Center (EDC), a nonprofit organization, the lead organization of dot-EDU and core partner of dot-ORG.
Core funding for the DOT-COM Alliance is provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture & Trade, Office of Energy and Information Technology (EGAT/EIT/IT), Office of Human Capacity Development: Basic Education Team (EGAT/HCD), and Office of Women in Development (EGAT/WID), under the terms of Award numbers: GDG-A-00-01-00009-00, dot-GOV; GDG-A-00-01-00014-00, dot-ORG; GDG-A-00-01-00011-00, dot-EDU.
GKD is currently supported entirely by EDC. Past sponsors of GKD include the World Bank, UNDP, and UNESCO.
For Further Information
DOT-COM Discussions, please contact: Barbara Fillip, DOT-COM,
GKD, please contact: Janice Brodman, dot-ORG,