Latest Blog Post

Saturday, 10 April, 2021 - 11:12

Like so many aspects of our life, democratic debate is increasingly moving online. Yet it seems like every time citizens adopt a new digital tool or enter a new digital space to voice opposition, repressive governments respond with a whole arsenal of tactics to dampen dissent and deny their right to opinion and expression. For every new activist tactic there are three or four state countermeasures. New research has found that this digital game of whack-a-mole is playing out across Africa. An issue about which the activists, analysts and academics of the African Digital Rights Network are conducting research and raising awareness.

 

For all of us, the right to be heard and to influence decision-making on issues that affect our lives is a cornerstone of open democracy and a sustainable development goal. In an increasingly digital world being heard means making use of mobile phones and social media – especially during a pandemic when social distancing makes public protest both difficult and dangerous. Marginalised groups have repeatedly made creative use of digital technologies to create spaces online to give voice to neglected issues, influence debate, and hold to account those with power. #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter are powerful...

All Blog Posts

Digital rights in closing civic space: lessons from ten African countries

Trump Disinformation Machine must be a wake-up call

In 2020 Donald Trump was reportedly the biggest source of political disinformation in the world, fuelling social unrest, voter supression

Podcast with Serena Natile

In this episode of the IDS Between the Lines podcast, I speak to Serena Natile to discuss her book, 'The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion: mobile money, gendered walls', in which she uses the example of Kenya's extremely popular mPesa programme to critique mobile money more generally as part of a historical succession of finance solutionism.

Covid-19: how can we avoid locking in bad digital development outcomes?

Co-authored with Becky Faith and first published here by the Institute of Development Studies.
 

Rebooting the Principles of Digital Development

The Principles for Digital Development were written in 2012 by a group of international donors and multilateral organisations. They are a great point of reference to guide practitioners applying digital technologies to development programs.

Tackling Toxic Masculinity in Technology Workplaces

Toxic masculinity and everyday sexism create a hostile environment for women in technology workplaces and in online spaces. In an increasingly digital world the male-domination of technology design, software production, and digital content is a serious problem that demands urgent remedy.

 

Top Ten Books on Digital Development

Following a popular Twitter Thread I wrote on this subject recently, I thought it might be useful to have these all in one place. 

 

 

Digital Development: what's in a name?

 

Richard Heeks recently asked whether the emerging relationship between digital technology and international development should be referred to as "Digital Development" or "Digital-for-Development". I use these two terms to refer to different things.

 

Ten Rules of Technology

Nothing is more practical than rules to guide thinking. In this post I share the ten rules I use to think about technology and society. Personally I use them as tools to filter the hype that surrounds technology and to get to the critical questions of who benefits and loses, as well as what needs to be done to secure a more equitable society.

Podcast with Nanjala Nyabola

In this episode of of the IDS "Between The Lines", podcast I spoke to Kenyan journalist and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola, about her book ‘Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya’. The book focuses on how social media has impacted Kenyan politics both positively and negatively, and the consequences for democracy.

Digital Imperialism & How We Tackle It

I recently ran a session on Digital Development here at IDS for staff from two bilateral donors.

Class Divisions in Technology Access

Mobile internet use in the Philippines is growing rapidly, but so are associated digital inequalities.

Pages