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Information and Communication Technology for Governance (ICT4GOV) Program
After about 80 years of colonial rule, several secessionist conflicts in the post-independence period and a long period of corruption and mismanagement under President Mobutu Sese Seko, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) entered the 1990s in a state of quasi-collapse. That decade was marked by successive episodes of increasing violence: looting by the armed forces in 1991 and again in 1993, a first conflict in 1997, and a second conflict between 1998 and 2003 during which a reported 3.5 million people died and many more were displaced. All of the mismanagement, political instability, and conflict had devastating effects on the economy.
In 2006, the successful completion of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections provided an opportunity for stabilizing the political system and addressing deep-seated governance problems. For instance, the government adopted a Governance Compact with the people of DRC. Under the compact, the government promised to work on a broad front, since improving the quality of governance is crucial to ensuring conditions for sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Among the four cross-cutting challenges outlined in the Governance Compact, the decentralization process has been one of the government’s main priorities. The government believes decentralization could contribute to building a governance system that (i) delivers effective key public services, (ii) reflects public priorities and (iii) aligns with the compact.
The 2006 Constitution stipulates a significantly increased level of provincial autonomy, both in political and fiscal terms. Specifically, the Constitution foresees that 40% of domestic revenues should be retained by the provinces, and significant government functions (e.g., primary and secondary education, primary health care) should be transferred to the province level.1 Another 10% of revenues are to be distributed among the provinces through a development equalization fund, which will fund investments in provincial and local infrastructure.
In this context, the government launched the Information and Communication Technology for Governance (ICT4GOV) program in 2009 in South Kivu province, with the support of the World Bank Institute (WBI). The program aimed to facilitate decentralization by empowering stakeholders to participate in the process of participatory budgeting through the use of ICT. This initiative built upon a governance diagnostic assessment conducted in South Kivu, which also provided an entry point to forge relationships and bring together stakeholders within the country to promote and engage in governance reforms.
The analysis of the objectives, change process and results in this case study is based on WBI’s Capacity Development and Results Framework.
Year of publication:2012
Collection:WBI Capacity Development and Results
Country:CONGO, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE
Themes and sectors:Information and communications technology
Case story length:7 pages
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