Technology for Accountability and Transparency (TSA) initiatives are increasing becoming common in East Africa.
several CSOs are having initiatives that creates a platform for citizens to voice their concerns and demand improved service delivery. In Kenya, SODNET has created an action that is already creating a lot of impact in getting leaders and government officers.The initiative dubbed HUDUMA, is a citizens’ initiative of Social Development Network (SODNET) in partnership with USHAHIDI. www.huduma.info
The goal of the strategy is to contribute to the improvement of service delivery by providing simple technology/media based tools and channels to amplify citizens concerns, displeasure, complaints, or suggestions on their perceptions on service delivery by duty bearers.
Huduma intends to nurture more vibrant a more vibrant citizenry that is able to make demands for improved service delivery, more accountability and robust democratization process through increased grassroots participation.
The channels allow citizens to report a number of issues or complaints e.g. lack of water, medicines, potholes, lack of teachers, to an Huduma channel, mostly an SMS number (3018). The conversation, including feedback, are managed through the Huduma channels
The initiative initially focused on six counties, namely Nairobi-Langata, Muranga, Bungoma, Kisumu and Pokot, but it has now expanded to other areas of Kenya and is currently being scaled up in other countries. In each country, the action will work with professional groups as a means of verifying citizens’ demands.
The initiative has already began to create demands for improved service delivery and has been attracting participation from different areas of the country from citizens who are keen to voice concerns. This has been witnessed in Langata in Nairobi and in other regions where those in authority have been able to respond to citizens queries.
As part of the efforts to upscale it in Kenya and in the Eastern Africa Region, SODNET has recently organized a capacity building workshop which drew participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia at Nairobi's Methodist Guest House , on December 2-3, 2011 to which the John Silco from RIC-NET and Emanuel Oluka from CEW-IT and Mugisha Celestine participated. RWECO- RICNET team shared with other participants the Uganda TSA initiatives in Uganda and platforms as Uchaguzi -Uganda, Rwenzori peoples voice and Citizens voice. www.citizensvoice.ug