ICTs in state-building

An excellent paper by Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart who I met during Strong Angel III titled Writing The History Of The Future: Securing Stability through Peace Agreements suggests that ICTs could play a central role in state building, but too often don’t. 

“Enormous scope exists to examine the possibilities for rethinking electoral processes, voter registration, census preparation and citizen database preparation in light of modern technology, to enable more frequent but transparent elections at a fraction of the cost at the same time as build an information base for governance.”

Ashraf and Clare are heading The Institute for State Effectiveness and I hope they look more closely at the relationships engendered by mobile phones between peoples (not all of whom may be citizens) and the State as it is constituted and imagined today. As I have suggested earlier and other writers have also confirmed, mobile phones are changing old assumptions on human security, sustainable development and citizen empowerment.

No think tank that attempts to envision the future of the State can afford to ignore their role and encourage further their fullest integration into democratic polity and society. 

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