ICTs, Statebuilding and Peacebuilding in Africa

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



What do scholars know about the internet, social media, and other ICTs in African elections? Information on the role electronic media plays in politics on the African continent is limited, with little scholarly work empirically examining the role of electronic media in African elections. In this report, we focus specifically on crowd-sourced publics in the Kenyan context. We intend to contribute to literature on ICT4D and governance, particularly highlighting the potential and limitations of non-profit ICT-using intermediaries and their work to re-define the relationship between citizens and the State.

Throughout this report, we center on questions about the role of the crowdsourcing initiative Uchaguzi. This inquiry examines technical challenges, the organization’s ability to catalyze responses to reports of violence, the organization’s connection with the media establishment and the wider public as well as Uchaguzi’s overall role in strengthening electoral transparency and accountability.

To address these questions, we employed mixed methods involving both qualitative and quantitative analyses as well as field methods and desk research. Data collection focused on review of documentary sources in addition to collection of both qualitative and quantitative data. Empirical and qualitative sources included fourteen semi-structured qualitative interviews with founders, designers, and implementers. We also conducted a short survey to assess citizens’ familiarity with Uchaguzi, reaching a total of 446 people and covering most regions in Kenya.



Date Posted: 06 February 2017