In this paper we examine the promise and potential of inclusive innovation via the lens of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative. More specifically we look at the future of eGovernance in light of new technological inroads made by mobile broadband connectivity and ICT infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. The authors of this paper were both designers (in the sense that they co-created the platform with the policy makers and citizens in Botswana), as well as observers (in the sense that they researched and analysed the findings iteratively throughout the project evolution). The first section of the paper is dedicated to providing a contextual background for readers on the unique case of Botswana, discussing the relevance and capabilities of the platform, while situating the project within the broader partner-driven cooperation model of development. The next section of the paper outlines the methodology used internally within the project, as well as the tools employed for data collection and analysis. Finally the paper provides a critical discussion on the relevance, confidence, interoperability and innovation provided by interventions such as Botswana Speaks. From the lack of basic facilities such as clean drinking water, to concerns surrounding unemployment and land reform, we showcase via our data, how technologies are being innovatively appropriated to address core development issues. Do the policy makers respond more transparently and effectively with the aid of such tools? Are the voices being aired and expectations being raised with no real meaningful change to follow? In this paper we start a much needed discussion on the above questions and end with key lessons learnt and future directions for our research.
Joshi, Somya; Belkacem, Kheira; Koulolias, Vasilis; and Zalavra, Vassiliki, "Inclusive Innovation In Governance: Critical Reflections From Botswana" (2014). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2014. 32.