Citizens are central actors in public and political arenas. Their ability to hold governments to account and to participate fully in democratic processes is contingent upon their ability to associate, assemble freely and express opinions. Around the globe citizens are claiming their rights, rising up to injustices and proposing alternatives. What lessons can we draw from citizen action? How do different forms of technology contribute to raise citizens’ voices? In this dossier, we explore various forms of citizen action and their effectiveness at bringing about positive change.
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Making All Voices Count
This dossier is informed by over 40 years of Hivos practice executed with our research partners. Currently, we work closely with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) within the programme Making All Voices Count. In 11 countries in Africa and Asia, we bring together a wide range of actors to promote transparency, fight corruption and empower citizens. Using different technologies, we aim to improve the relationship between government and citizens and to make government more effective and accountable. We do not consider technology as a silver bullet for social change, but it offers great opportunities to inform and mobilise citizens. In this dossier, you will find publications and knowledge articles on the success and limitations of technological means to trigger change.
Another example of a programme that produced an extensive amount of knowledge is the Digital Natives programme. Today, youth are perceived to show little interest in politics, but if you look closely at what many young people are advocating for online, this is very political. These so-called Digital Natives are changing our environment in unimaginable ways. This is why we have published insights from digital natives. What does it mean to be a Digital Native? What is the relationship of people growing up with new technologies and change? We have also looked at other forms of political action such as the use of arts - so-called “unruly politics”.
For these and more insights about new forms of citizen action, do browse through this dossier!