This Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) webinar will discuss work undertaken by Linda Waldman and Tabitha Hrynick, both researchers at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and mHealth innovations hold great potential to improve health systems and health outcomes while at the same time enhancing citizen engagement and accountability. Yet there has been little assessment of the impact of mHealth innovations on the ground. This webinar presents research on the experiences of seven mHealth initiatives funded by the Making All Voices Count programme. All seven worked on the underlying assumption that citizen engagement and voice are central to strengthening accountability.
The research found that there are limits to what technology can deliver in terms of augmenting citizen voice and enhancing accountability, particularly in the absence of offline activities such as engaging citizens in meaningful ways and building good relationships with key government actors and departments. Projects which had already built good working relationships with key stakeholders - including local communities, local-level officials and national-level decision-makers - felt they were reasonably successful in reaching their accountability goals; where these were lacking, accountability goals were much harder to achieve.
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