BBL | Civic Tech: The Tech Community as a Social Accountability Interlocutor for Better Results

December 15, 2016

Civic Tech: The Tech Community as a Social Accountability Interlocutor for Better Results

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Fletcher Tembo
Director, Making All Voices Count

Samia Melhem
Lead ICT Policy Specialist, Transport & ICT Global Practice, World Bank

Bruce Kay
Division Chief, Governance and Rule of Law, Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, USAID 

Chiara Bronchi 
Practice Manager, Public Sector and Institutions and Financial Accountability and Reporting, World Bank


MAVC experiences show the potential of the new generation of social accountability thinking to benefit from disruptions and non-traditional innovations that are increasingly emerging from the growing Tech community in developing country contexts. This community is growing fast and also is very diverse and yet there has not been enough evidence-based understanding of how to understand their business models, and draw on them for better social accountability/ transparency and accountability outcomes without disrupting their approaches. It is the way they disrupt citizen-state relationships in new ways that traditional CSOs do not that makes them interesting. If we understand the character of these new interlocutors we should be able to also explore ways of identifying and incubating their ideas, and then how to support and measure change in ways that are also innovative.


Dr. Fletcher Tembo is Director for the Making All Voices Count Programme, an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia. The programme is supported by DFID, USAID, Omidyar Network and SIDA, and is committed to promoting transparency, fighting corruption, empowering marginalised citizens, and harnessing the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable. He has also been Director for the DFID funded Mwananchi Social Accountability Programme when he was a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute in London. Fletcher specializes in using Political Economy Analysis (PEA) approaches to solve practical collective action problems, developing theories of change and monitoring and evaluation frameworks for transparency and accountability initiatives; researching on models of donor support to civil society, including ‘non-traditional’ civil society. He has published widely in these fields.

Samia Melhem is a Lead Policy Officer in the World Bank's Transport and ICT Global Practice. She chairs the Digital Development Community of Practice and leads Global ICT's Transformation practice, as well as its Knowledge, Learning and Solutions functions. Her current operational responsibilities include lending and technical assistance for the ICT sector. In her 20 years of experience in development at the World Bank Group, Samia has worked on ICT4D in several sectors: telecommunications and broadband policy, ICT for public sector transformation, improving health and education services, and innovation and private sector development. Samia held several positions as regional coordinator in different regions such as Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Senior Operations Officer at InfoDev, and Strategy and Policy Officer in ECA, Africa and IMT. She has worked in more than 40 countries, and has authored several research notes, working papers, case studies and policy notes. She holds degrees in Electrical Engineering (BS), Computer Sciences (MS) and Finance (MBA).

Bruce Kay is Chief of the Governance/Rule of Law Division of the Center of Excellence on Democracy Human Rights and Governance at USAID in Washington, DC.  A Senior Foreign Service Officer, Bruce has served as Director of Democracy, Rights, and Governance Offices in USAID missions in the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and has won accolades from USAID and the U.S. Department of State for his stewardship of US democracy promotion efforts worldwide. Bruce holds PhD, MA and BA degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Chiara Bronchi is a Practice Manager for the Public Sector and Institutions and Financial Accountability and Reporting group in the Governance Global Practice of the World Bank. She leads a team of experts that provides technical and analytical assistance to the governments of Western, Central and South Africa on Public Sector Management, Public Administration, Public Finance and Fiscal Policy and Judiciary reforms as well as e-Government and Open government reforms. Dr. Bronchi has over twenty years professional experience in economic policy analysis, including macroeconomics and fiscal policy, public expenditure management and associated research with the British Government, the OECD, the IMF and the World Bank. Over 10 year field-based management experience in leading innovative operations to support economic development in poor countries with fragile and post-conflict settings in the Balkans, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Bronchi holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Bologna, and an MA in economics from University College of London.