ICT and Citizen Efficacy

August 23, 2017 by Rebecca Rumbul

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This paper examines whether civic technology ICTs provide an effective method for enhancing the political efficacy of citizens, and their perceived accountability of governments. Using a survey-based methodology, a quantitative analysis was conducted of the users of civic action sites in the UK, Kenya, South Africa and USA. The key question examine is whether the particularized or citizen-audit actions that these sites facilitate have a spillover effect in altering the level to which citizens believe they are able to hold government to account. These results suggest that citizen efficacy and perceptions of government accountability are enhanced. Stark differences in user demographics between territories demonstrates a wide spectrum of civic technology usage, however, with common confidence in the efficacy of the ICT. The findings suggest that publication and user-facilitation of government information through the medium of civic technology in developed and developing countries increases feelings of external efficacy and government accountability.