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The Role of Crowdsourcing for Better Governance in Fragile State Contexts

The Role of Crowdsourcing for Better Governance in Fragile State Contexts

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This paper is meant to serve as a primer on crowdsourcing as an informational resource for development, crisis response, and post-conflict recovery, with a specific focus on governance in fragile states. Inherent in the theoretical approach is that broader, unencumbered participation in governance is an objectively positive and democratic aim, and that governments’ accountability to its citizens can be increased and poor-performance corrected, through openness and empowerment of citizens. Whether for tracking flows of aid, reporting on poor government performance, or helping to organize grassroots movements, crowdsourcing has potential to change the reality of civic participation in many developing countries. The objective of this paper is to outline the theoretical justifications, key features and governance structures of crowdsourcing systems, and examine several cases in which crowdsourcing has been applied to complex issues in the developing world.
This paper is meant to serve as a primer on crowdsourcing as an informational resource for development, crisis response, and post-conflict recovery, with a specific focus on governance in fragile states. Inherent in the theoretical approach is that broader, unencumbered participation in governance is an objectively positive and democratic aim, and that governments’ accountability to its citizens can be increased and poor-performance corrected, through openness and empowerment of citizens. Whether for tracking flows of aid, reporting on poor government performance, or helping to organize grassroots movements, crowdsourcing has potential to change the reality of civic participation in many developing countries. The objective of this paper is to outline the theoretical justifications, key features and governance structures of crowdsourcing systems, and examine several cases in which crowdsourcing has been applied to complex issues in the developing world.

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Published by: World Bank Publications on Dec 14, 2011
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01/17/2014

 
 
2
 
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
Buckminster Fuller
 
 
3
Table of Contents
 
Acknowledgments
 
........................................................................................................................................
 
4
 
Foreword
 
......................................................................................................................................................
 
5
 
PART
 
I
 
............................................................................................................................................................
 
6
 
Crowdsourcing
 
 –
 
A
 
New
 
Panacea
 
for
 
Social
 
Accountability
 
and
 
Governance?
 
.........................................
 
6
 
1.1
 
How
 
is
 
Crowdsourcing
 
Expected
 
to
 
Improve
 
Governance?
 
....................................................................
 
7
 
1.2
 
Critical
 
Success
 
Factors
 
of 
 
Crowdsourcing
 
Systems
 
................................................................................
 
8
 
1.3
 
The
 
Potential
 
Role
 
of 
 
Crowdsourcing,
 
and
 
in
 
Particular
 
Interactive
 
Mapping,
 
in
 
Improving
 
Aid
 
Transparency,
 
Effectiveness,
 
and
 
Social
 
Accountability
 
in
 
Fragile
 
States
 
...................................................
 
11
 
1.4
 
Challenges
 
and
 
Risks
 
of 
 
Applying
 
Crowdsourcing
 
and
 
Interactive
 
Mapping
 
in
 
Fragile
 
State
 
Environments
 
..............................................................................................................................................
 
14
 
PART
 
II
 
.........................................................................................................................................................
 
18
 
The
 
Experience
 
of 
 
the
 
Crisis
 
Mapping
 
Community
 
...................................................................................
 
18
 
2.1
 
The
 
Emergence
 
of 
 
the
 
Crisis
 
Mapping
 
Community
 
 –
 
The
 
Case
 
of 
 
Haiti
 
................................................
 
18
 
2.2
 
An
 
Evolution
 
in
 
Crowdsourced
 
Crisis
 
Mapping
 
 –
 
The
 
Experience
 
of 
 
Libya
 
...........................................
 
20
 
The
 
Experience
 
of 
 
the
 
Development
 
Mapping
 
Community
 
.....................................................................
 
22
 
2.3
 
Participatory
 
Post
Conflict
 
&
 
Recovery
 
Mapping
 
 –
 
The
 
Case
 
of 
 
Sudan
 
................................................
 
22
 
2.4
 
Mapping
 
for
 
Sustainable
 
Development
 
 –
 
Participatory
 
GIS
 
and
 
Community
 
Forestry
 
Management
 
in
 
Nepal
 
...........................................................................................................................................................
 
26
 
2.5
 
Elections
 
Monitoring
 
in
 
Guinea
 
 –
 
Crowdsourcing
 
with
 
Mobile
 
Technology
 
for
 
Transparency
 
and
 
Civil
 
Rights
 
..........................................................................................................................................................
 
29
 
2.6
 
Kenya
 
Open
 
Data
 
and
 
Huduma
 
 –
 
A
 
Paradigm
 
Shift
 
for
 
Governance
 
in
 
Kenya?
 
...................................
 
31
 
2.7
 
Avaaz
 
 –
 
Crowdsourcing
 
Political
 
Pressure
 
on
 
a
 
Global
 
Scale
 
................................................................
 
32
 
2.8
 
Other
 
Emergent
 
Applications
 
of 
 
Crowdsourcing
 
for
 
Economic
 
Development
 
and
 
Good
 
Governance
 
33
 
PART
 
III
 
........................................................................................................................................................
 
37
 
Recommendations
 
for
 
Donors
 
 –
 
Applying
 
Crowdsourcing
 
and
 
Interactive
 
Mapping
 
for
 
Socio
economic
 
Recovery
 
and
 
Development
 
in
 
Fragile
 
States
 
............................................................................................
 
37
 
List
 
of 
 
Referenced
 
Works
 
............................................................................................................................
 
40
 

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