ICTs and Community Participation: An Indicative Framework
AbstractThe goal of this paper is to develop an analytical framework to better understand the dynamic between ICTs and democracy. The aspect of democracy that is emphasized here is the participation of civil society groups, specifically community groups, in decision-making processes. The proposed framework articulates four main issues: (i) the social and economic context in which the community exists, (ii) the nature and extent of participation, (iii) the scope and purpose of the ICTs employed, and (iv) the balance between incorporating existing local governance structures and creating space for genuine participation. The framework is then applied to a case study from Jamaica. Through this analysis we are better able to understand the ways in which ICTs were used to support participation by looking at the context in which they are applied both in terms of capacity to participate and the information problem being addressed.
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