“Over the next decade, cities will continue to grow larger at a rapid pace. At the same time, new technologies will unlock massive streams of data about cities and their residents. As these forces collide, they will turn every city into a unique civic laboratory—a place where technology is adapted in novel ways to meet local needs.” Anthony Townsend, Institute of the Futures, 2020 Forecast. December 2010.
Where: Rm 2.27, Davies Room, Engeo Building, Upper Campus, UCT, Cape Town
The coming decade holds an opportunity to harness information to improve government services, alleviate poverty and inequality, and empower the poor. Key uncertainties are coming into view:
• What economic opportunities will urban information provide to excluded groups?
• What new exclusions might arise from new kinds of data about the city and its citizens?
• How will communities leverage urban information to improve service delivery, transparency, and citizen engagement?
About the Author
Jay Bhalla is an innovation strategist, who has helped pioneer Kenya’s digital revolution.
He helped design the Kenyan government’s 2006 ICT policy that kick-started the nation’s digital start up culture and more recently played a leading role in shaping the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI). He continues to advise both the Kenyan government and the World Bank on tech strategies for civic engagement and appropriate technology. He has also helped build proof-of-concept grassroots community tools for monitoring government delivery and tracking State expenditure.
Outside of his Open Data work, Jay spearheaded East Africa’s largest mobile web gathering, Pivot25, and also co-founded the world’s first Kiswahili text-to-speech start up. Jay is currently the co-founder and executive director for the Open Institute think tank.
Source: African Centre for Cities
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