Democratic Accountability in the Digital Age: Workshop 2016

IT for Change, along with Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), organised a two day workshop on ‘Democratic Accountability in the Digital Age’ in November 2016. Building on key issues/concerns for democratic accountability in ICT-mediated service delivery and citizen-engagement, and the transition to data-based governance, that were identified through IT for Change’s research, the workshop aimed to trigger a vibrant civil society dialogue with grassroots organisations and people’s movements increasingly concerned by the new exclusions triggered by the rise of a ‘digital by default’ governance model.

Over two days of rich debate and dialogue, the workshop hammered down the first principles of a charter for democratic accountability in digitalized governance systems– that laid down the key normative frameworks that must underpin every digital policy move. A second round of discussions, using this draft charter as a springboard, was organised with a smaller sub-group of participants from the November workshop, where the group decided to form a civil society coalition to work towards legal and policy reform that furthers participatory democracy in the digital age.