Citizen Participation in Local Democracy Online: A Snapshot of Trends and Challenges in Adoption of Crowdsourcing Methods in Tanzania

Journal of Social and Political

Sciences

ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 07 November 2019

Citizen Participation in Local Democracy Online: A Snapshot of Trends and Challenges in Adoption of Crowdsourcing Methods in Tanzania

Deodatus Patrick Shayo

University of Dar es Salaam

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10.31014/aior.1991.02.04.124

Pages: 848-864

Keywords: Local Democracy, Citizen Participation, Online Participation, Crowdsourcing, Digitalization, Tanzania

Abstract

Although numerous studies concerning local democracy have been carried out in Tanzania, most of them have fallen short of analysing crowdsourcing citizen participation in local democracy online. Local democracy aims essentially to promote fundamental rights of the citizen to participate in policy and decision-making processes. On the other hand, crowdsourcing in the modern digital age - is increasingly expected not only to transform relationships between local politicians and voters in democratic processes, but also to engage and empower ordinary citizens to have a voice in monitoring electoral procedures by new electronic means from below. Promotion of citizen participation with better platforms for monitoring local elections and information sharing in near real-time is a vital element for healthy local democracy. This is why in recent times; we have witnessed emerging of digitally empowered citizen voice platforms such as Uchaguzi open source and social media pages like Facebook for citizens' crowdsourcing systems. In that regard this paper attempts to map citizen crowdsourcing methods, trends and challenges of online participation in monitoring local elections in Tanzania. Crowdsourcing methods through information and communication technologies create an agenda for collective citizen participation, collaborative production and sharing of local information.

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