The Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) is one of two centres established under the Catalysing Access to Information and Communications Technologies in Africa (CATIA) initiative, which was funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) in 2004. CIPESA focuses on decision-making that facilitates the use of ICT in support of development and poverty reduction. While based in Kampala, Uganda, CIPESA works across East and Southern Africa, informing policy-making, and stirring debate and convening productive gatherings.
CIPESA works with networks, individuals and organisations (private sector, governmental, academic, civil society) across the region, and is a key member of several African and international initiatives that aim to improve the inclusiveness of the Information Society. CIPESA is a member of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).
CIPESA has realized the potential of ICTs in acting as catalysts for civic participation and democracy monitoring. In its project “Catalysing Civic Participation and Democracy Monitoring Using ICT’s”, CIPESA will carry out a needs assessment, including survey of the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) among individuals, citizens’ groups and local governments regarding utility, effectiveness, and security of using ICTs in citizen participation and monitoring of democracy. CIPESA will also aim to discuss accountability and participation ladders and cycles that would be more suitable in the Ugandan context.
Besides, CIPESA aims to map ICTs that are being used/ can be used in encouraging more active and participatory civic engagement; to establish the key challenges faced in the deployment and use of the tools currently being utilised; grow the capacity of civil society groups, local government and media to use the tools in their work towards greater citizen participation, and undertake a robust advocacy campaign for government and non-government actors to more meaningfully embrace ICT tools in aid of good governance. Furthermore, CIPESA will champion the development of a network of several CSOs, media, citizens’ groups and local governments that actively utilises and promote the usage of ICTs in governance. For details, see: www.cipesa.org.