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Mobile Participation?: Crowdsourcing during the 2011 Uganda General Elections
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of M4D 2012 28-29 February 2012 New Delhi, India / [ed] Vikas Kumar, Jakob Svensson, Karlstad: Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Karlstad University , 2012, 411-424 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the challenges and opportunities in using mobile phones for political participation. In doing so, a study was conducted on the open crowdsourcing election monitoring platform UgandaWatch. SMS questionnaires were sent out to a) a randomised sample of Ugandan mobile phone users and to b) a sample of users of UgandaWatch. The key findings were; a) open crowdsourcing provides a useful channel in cases when citizens experience that there is nowhere else to turn, and when citizens need help; b) the major reasons for not using UgandaWatch was not having heard of the service and not having anything to report; c) the primary challenges in using UgandaWatch was fear of personal safety, the cost factor, and the perception of participation not having any effect; d) most users never visited the website but of those who did 75 per cent did so through their mobile browsers. Drawing on our findings, we recommend; 1) strategic and educational marketing: inform the public why the service should be used and how to use it; 2) closing the feedback-loop and decide how to use the crowdsourced data and communicate this to the users; 3) using multiple channels: combine a spectrum of traditional and ICT-enabled channels to increase accessibility and solidity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Karlstad University , 2012. 411-424 p.
, Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 3
Keyword [en]
crowd, crowdsourcing, election monitoring, mobile, M4D, participation, SMS, SMS-questionnaire
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85424ISBN: 978-91-7063-437-6OAI: diva2:583686
M4D 2012, 28-29 February 2012, New Delhi, India
Available from: 2013-01-08 Created: 2013-01-08 Last updated: 2013-08-23Bibliographically approved

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