Seminar on Gender and Governance at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (United Kingdom)

IT for Change (ITfC) was part of a seminar at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, organised  by the BRIDGE team, on Gender and Governance on May 1, 2009. Anita Gurumurthy represented ITfC on a panel  with Andrea Cornwall and Henry Amass. The discussion focussed on the emerging complexities in the participatory  development debate. Gurumurthy examined the e-governance discourse from the cornerstone concepts of  citizenship, participation and institutional accountability.

The e-governance domain is significant to women's rights and citizenship in many ways. It comprises the new  terrain through which institutional responsiveness and accountability are redefined for poor women; it is the  methodology underpinning new spaces for representation of citizen voices in governance; it is in its dominant form  a backdoor into the privatisation of public services and hence a hidden threat for women's agency. As new  technologies bring new opportunities to reconfigure weak institutions in developing countries, the core question  that needs to be asked is - where are the marginalised people and women in this realignment? How is public policy  directing change such that the democratising potential of ICTs can be realised for accountable governance, social  inclusion and deepening democracy?

Focus Areas