MobiSAM: Reflections from a four year case study using technology to increase public participation in local government in South Africa

Hannah Thinyane, Ingrid Siebörger


This paper reflects on a four year evaluation on the use of a mobile platform, MobiSAM, to support increased public participation in local government.  It describes the lessons learnt in the design, development and evaluation of the initiative.  MobiSAM uses a community based co-design methodology, emphasizing the importance of community’s voices throughout the design and evaluation of the project.  Attention is drawn to the education and awareness raising interventions undertaken in order to scaffold the deployment of the system.  A discussion of the findings of the project is also provided in order for other actors in the field to learn from MobiSAM’s successes and failures.  Special attention is focused on the political stability and communication capacity required to successfully undertake initiatives such as this.

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The Journal of Community Informatics. ISSN: 1712-4441