Governance is one of the main focus areas of iHub Research. Though there are more than 24.9 million mobile subscribers in Kenya who make up for a penetration rate of 71.3 per cent (Communication Commission of Kenya), the Kenyan government has been slow to provide adequate and quality services to its citizens. This includes areas such as agriculture, health, water, education and finance. This has hampered sustainable development in the country.
Leveraging the extremely high mobile penetration and uptake of mobile applications across the country, research at iHub has been exploring the conditions needed for successful use of mobiles that will by pass the need for physical interaction and communication which reduces opportunities for corruption. It also adds value to government services, as it delivers them to citizens’ doorsteps.
iHub Research is engaging with communities to assess mobile applications as a potential avenue for increasing citizen participation in government and as a tool for more effective public service delivery. The critical focus of iHub’s M-Governance research is on quality government service delivery and the free and open information channels between citizens and government (local and national).
Our methodologies include desk research and expert interviews, pilot projects and pre-test of questionnaires, multiple rounds of community surveys and focus groups within five (5) different Kenyan provinces, focus groups with the mobile and web application developer community, and discussions with government stakeholders in various Ministries.
The 18-month project is expected to be wind-up in February 2013.