Reusable Components in the Political Domain - Computational Algorithms for Enhancing Participatory Social Accountability

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Okewu, E
Okewu, J
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Nigeria Computer Society
Public confidence in the political process is normally enhanced by access to information. Both the government and the governed are entitled to voice concerns on policies, programmes and projects that could transform the lives of citizenry through prudent management of state resources. However, in recent memory, fiscal indiscipline has characterized the African political domain with vested interests served above and beyond the collective good of the people. In the aftermath of monumental corruption, the African landscape is branded by weak institutions, poor infrastructure and low human capital development index and as such, African countries are less competitive in the comity of nations. To address this downward spiral, some measures have been suggested, one of which is application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). In this study, the researchers explored the use of ICTs in promoting participatory social accountability against the background that corruption thrives in the absence of transparency and accountability. We applied design and software engineering skills to achieve the objective. The work designed and implemented a multi-tier online real-time e-Democracy system using Component-based Software Engineering (CBSE) approach. Requirements were gathered, proposed system modelled using Universal Modelling Language, and development done on Microsoft SharePoint platform. The proposed e-Democracy system will drive conversation between leaders and the led in an African political setting in such a fashion that the masses can voice concerns over policies, programmes, projects and services that political office holders are offering. This background check will ensure that fiscal budgets are judiciously utilized for the greatest good of the greater number of people. The paper reports outcome of simulated government-people interactions using the e-Democracy prototype system and indicates that optimal use of reusable components in the political domain could significantly promote participatory social accountability. It equally brings to the fore the role of computational algorithms in driving healthy political dialogue for inclusive development.
Software Engineering , Inclusive Development , e-Government , Democracy
Paper presented 12th Nigeria Computer Society International Conference on Information Technology for Inclusive Development