Sparking Civic Tech Innovation in Uganda

Indigo Trust and the British Council are currently working with Hive Colab on a project to see how tech can be used to address some of society’s biggest challenges. Hive Colab received funding of £40,000 towards a user-centred design process, bringing together techies, civic and creative groups and an innovation hub to develop a tech-driven solution to a civic challenge.

This solution took shape in the form of an anti-corruption campaign, which includes offline dialogues, and a website, yogera.ug, which provides users with a way to report a situation of corruption or an individual who is behaving in a corrupt way. The website is accompanied by a Facebook page and Twitter feed which let users get in touch about issues affecting their lives.

As outlined in past posts, there have been some exciting developments so far. We’ve recently received an update from Hive Colab so wanted to give you some news from the programme. There are some great stories of the Yogera platform being used to achieve real change in communities. Here are a few examples:

  • A report was received by Yogera that a local health centre was storing drugs under a leaking ceiling meaning that medicines were being damaged and patients’ health affected. Yogera was able to contact and engage the relevant officials at the health centre and the drugs are now stored safely on shelves.
  • In Kidera, locals were struggling to cross a river meaning transport in the region was very difficult. A report to Yogera meant that the team was able to contact local government to explain the challenges people were facing and a bridge is now under construction.
  • As a result of Yogera’s growing voice, representatives from district councils have held sessions to speak with their communities and hear their stories. We hope that this will lead to greater engagement in civic life from communities and greater responsiveness from their representatives.

The Yogera project has also increased the number of partners it is working with, which is really encouraging. Partners include Akina Maama Wa Africa, a Pan-African NGO for African women; Forum for Women in Democracy, a women’s organisation based in Uganda; Buzz Events, a youth culture marketing agency; Twerwaneho Listeners’ Club, a civic club which brings human rights activists together; CIPESA, which focusses on using ICT to support development and reduce poverty; the Uganda Parliamentary Plenary Association; and FourSum Uganda, an arts and cultural organisation which invests in the use of art and culture to inform and entertain.