Sometimes it is about the tech: choosing tools in South African and Kenyan transparency and accountability initiatives: findings and summary

March 31, 2016 by Indra de Lanerolle, Tom Walker, Sasha Kinney

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To better understand the process of finding effective digital technology tools in transparency and accountability initiatives, researchers interviewed organisations in South Africa and Kenya that had recently chosen tools to use in their work. They were asked why they had chosen a particular tool, how they chose it, and if they were happy with the results. Less than a quarter of the organisations were happy with the tools they had chosen. They often found technical issues that made the tool hard to use, after they had decided to adopt it, while half the organisations discovered that their intended users did not use the tools to the extent that they had hoped (a trend that was often linked to specific attributes of the tool). Most organisations did very limited research to understand their intended users, the technology options available and the problem the tool was expected to solve.