Technology for Accountability, or ‘T4A’, is fast becoming the latest catchphrase in development. Also called ‘civil tech’, T4A broadly refers to any use of technology to further the aims of good governance, enhance transparency and promote accountability. To explore this area, SAIIA held a workshop on ‘Technology and Accountability in Africa in the 21st Century’ on 3 November 2016.
Experts, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives identified and discussed case studies where technology improved accountability, the roles of technology and social media in governance, technology being used to curtail freedoms and debated how citizens can demand better accountability.
SAIIA’s Yarik Turianskyi spoke to three of these experts, representing different sectors within the technology industry in South Africa:
- Indra de Lanerolle, Lead at the Network Society Project at Wits University
- Balungile Mbenyane, Co-founder of the Academic Citizen podcast
- Simon Dingle, Broadcaster, Designer and Technologist
Together, these experts answered the pressing questions: how can technology can be used to enhance accountability and governance, especially in the African context? What has worked and what hasn’t, and why? And what are coming trends yet to hit us?