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Mobile Enhanced Participatory Budgeting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

By: Felipe Estefan

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are helping increase citizen participation, positively transforming the relation between citizens and their government, ultimately resulting in more effective public service delivery.  Mobile phones are performing a key role in enhancing transparency and accountability. Mobile penetration in the DRC is increasing rapidly, from 16% to an estimated 47% in 2013. In addition, 55% of the country’s population resides in areas currently covered by mobile networks, including most rural areas from the eastern province of South Kivu.

This resource explains some of the efforts by the ICT4Gov team, affiliated with the World Bank, to harness the power of mobile phone technology to increase citizen participation in governance, particularly in budget accountability initiatives.  This was a program that saw swift, positive and clear results, which makes a strong case when we ask ourselves where the return on investment of Open Government approaches is.  Thus though focused on an initiative in the DRC, this resource is also important because of its wider applicability.