The Digital Agency for International Development

Digital citizen engagement evaluation workshop coming up

By Martin Belcher on 27 October 2015

Twenty people are taking part in a participatory workshop looking at digital citizen engagement evaluation later this week. The workshop is being run to build on the successful work undertaken when developing the World Bank funded DCE evaluation framework. There was some great learning in that project from four field evaluations, each of which will be looked at during the workshop.

Another interesting bit of learning was that World Bank publishing schedules can be quite, how shall we say, generous. The final framework and supporting case studies are now set to be published in January 2016, after an initial rush to get things finished earlier in the spring! Oh well.

The case studies in question are from four countries;

  • Brazil: the impact of online voting on a state-wide Participatory Budgeting process.
  • Uganda: looking at a long-standing and well-funded crowd sourcing platform UReport.
  • Kenya: looking at a beneficiary feedback system for customers and citizens served by a water supply company through digital, phone and walk-in channels.
  • Cameroon: participatory budgeting that has been experimenting with the use of SMS technology to increase participation levels and, more recently, cast votes in budgeting decisions.

During the workshop we will be looking at the lenses through which such evaluations have been undertaken and which are nicely transferrable to pretty much all DCE initiatives and, I would argue, many ICT4D initiatives in general, so hopefully a practical and useful workshop for everyone. The lenses are as follows;

  • Objective: Is the program objective reasonable and appropriate, and to what extent do the activities meet these objectives? Isthe rationale reasonable and appropriate?
  • Control: Which actors own, control and influencethe digital engagement process
  • Participation: Who participates and how?
  • Technology: How effective and appropriate is the choice of technology and how well was it implemented?
  • Effects: What effects does DCE have on processesand outcomes?

Participant's projects

A large part of the workshop will be spent applying these lenses to real projects that participants bring along to look at. We’re got an interesting range of projects that participants have supplied details about. These include;

  • Disaster response planning and engagement
  • Climate change and citizen engagement
  • DRC government DCE
  • Community feedback instruments (developing and developed country contexts)
  • Humanitarian response engagement indicators
  • Funder focused digital citizen engagement policy
  • Online news service engagement
  • Hackathons and local government as DCE
  • SMS two-way dialogue and citizen reports DCE

Looks set for some interesting discussions and group work…

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, then we could probably squeeze in 2-4 more people. So please let me know ( or register via