Rethinking Open Government as Innovation for Inclusive Development: Open Access, Data and ICT in South Africa

Plantinga, P. & Adams, R. (2020). Rethinking open government as innovation for inclusive development: Open access, data and ICT in South Africa. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/20421338.2020.1746046

19 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2019 Last revised: 17 Jul 2020

See all articles by Paul Plantinga

Paul Plantinga

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Rachel Adams

Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies; Research Use and Impact Assessment, Human Sciences Research Council

Date Written: November 27, 2019

Abstract

Open government has come to be closely associated with innovation for inclusive development (IID). These two areas of practice and research have converged around similar mechanisms aimed at achieving inclusive development outcomes including; open interaction between government, technologists and end-users in the design of policies and services; open, market-oriented approaches to delivering public services and meeting the needs of citizens; and a central role for information and communication technologies (ICTs) in policy development and innovation activities. We argue, however, that an uncritical adoption of open, ICT-oriented practices risks shifting responsibility and trust for governance and development outcomes to largely unaccountable global and national network enterprises. Taking South Africa as our primary focus, including its new White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), we note a renewed interest in adopting open government practices in relation to IID. More significant, we suggest, is the emergence of ‘grassroots’, hybrid civic-technology innovation networks at the fringes of formal open government initiatives. This article considers new questions that arise around how these grassroots movements sustain meaningful interaction with mainstream STI processes, how public officials may engage with such movements in order to meet national development outcomes, and the role of ICT in these spaces.

Keywords: ICT, innovation, inclusive development, open government, open data, South Africa

Suggested Citation

Plantinga, Paul and Adams, Rachel, Rethinking Open Government as Innovation for Inclusive Development: Open Access, Data and ICT in South Africa (November 27, 2019). Plantinga, P. & Adams, R. (2020). Rethinking open government as innovation for inclusive development: Open access, data and ICT in South Africa. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/20421338.2020.1746046, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3501503 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3501503

Paul Plantinga (Contact Author)

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) ( email )

Private Bag X41
134 Pretorius Street
Pretoria, 0001
South Africa

Rachel Adams

Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies ( email )

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5DR
United Kingdom

Research Use and Impact Assessment, Human Sciences Research Council ( email )

Private Bag X41
134 Pretorius Street
Pretoria, 0001
South Africa

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