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Joint International Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in Law, Science and Technology Crowdsourcing for Smart Governance: Challenges and Possibilities INTRODUCTION



Features of previous crowdsourcing initiatives:

!  Crowdsourcing is the combination of two words crowd and outsourcing coined by Jeff Howe and published in a June 2006 Wired magazine article "The Rise of Crowdsourcing .

"  Most of the initiatives are for profit-making purpose.

!  Oxford English Dictionary (June 2013) defines Crowdsourcing as Practice of obtaining information or sources by soliciting input from a large number of people . ( My definition: !  Crowdsourcing is the process of finding needed information and service for a common goal from a large number of people .

CASE STUDIES Amazon Mechanical Turk

"  Most of them are web based initiatives, so they don t address the issue of digital divide. "  Very few mobile-based initiatives. However they are not intended to address day-to-day governance issues. "  Very few web-based crowdsourcing initiatives to address day-today governance issues. So, most of the citizens are not allowed to participate in the governance process. "  Most of the mobile-based initiatives are one-off type. (e.g. an initiative to discuss about governance issues just before the election with no continuation after the election).

!  Two types (based on the intended purpose of use): "  Crowdsourcing for profit-making: (e.g. Ideas; Amazon Mechanical Turk; BMW Virtual Innovation Agency; BMW Customer Innovation Lab; BLDG 2.0; Cisco iPrize; Dell IdeaStrom; Innovate with Kraft; Dewmocracy; My Starbucks Idea; Nokia Concept Lounge; Oracle Mix; Hewlett-Packard IT Resource Center; LG Design the Future; Intel/ ASUS WePC; Call for investments in Film Industry, India). "  Crowdsourcing for not for profit-making: (e.g. Monitoring postelection violence in Kenya, 2007; Haiti earthquake, 2010; Constitution amendment in Iceland 2011; Criminal Law amendment in India 2013; Uttarakhand Flood Crisis mapping 2013; VAW Monitoring Map in Bangladesh 2011; Drafting a new UK Constitution, 2013; e-Purjee service, Bangladesh; RapidSMS, Ethiopia; MedAfrica; JobMatch). !  Some Facts and Figures: Mobile penetration rate in World (86.7%), India (75%) and Bangladesh (62%); Nigeria has 32 million cell phone users but only 8 million web users; the ratio between cell phone and web users in Bangladesh is 30:1; In the world the active mobile broadband subscription is 17% but active fixed line broadband subscription is only 8.5% (ITU 2011). 40% of adults use their mobile phones for internet, e-mail or instant messaging (Mobile Access 2011). Based on the previous progress rate, it could be estimated that by 2017, mobile penetration rate would be 100%. So, after 2017 mobile phone would be the most effective tool for governments to connect 100% of their citizen.

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing online marketplace that enables individuals or businesses to coordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers are currently unable to do. The Requesters are able to post tasks known as Human Intelligence Tasks . Workers can Source: existing tasksamong and complete them for a monetary payment set by the then browse Requester.


"  Some platforms were just one-way service (e.g. sending SMS alerts on cyclone just once). "  Some are based in different parts of the world; they have different geographical boundary; they are installed in different mobile phones; they have different servers and they serve different sections of people. Thus, these applications can not work as ubiquity platforms. "  Lastly, these applications / platforms do not allow people with little or no technical expertise to participate in governance process. However, ICT has the power to help any government to achieve further. Governments are also recognizing the need of integrating ICT development into national development agendas because citizens are able to engage more easily and effectively with governing processes through new mobile and online tools [UNDP, 2013]. As abovementioned issues still exist, governments should implement mobile based crowdsourcing process in governance framework to overcome some simple issues that have not been properly and logically dealt with earlier. Thus, this research is to explore the possibility of using crowdsourcing process for next generation governance.

AIM OF THE RESEARCH #  To develop a Mobile-based Crowdsourcing Framework for next generation Governance that would potentially help to address the digital divide and help governments to provide smart governance.


‘MedAfrica mobile application’ is a mobile-based Medical Services Content Platform that seeks to create health awareness among citizens from the comfort of their mobile phones. This extraordinary mobile system seeks to increase interactions and purposeful engagements between health practitioners and common people of their services.

Criminal Law amendment in India 2013 After the horrific rape incident (16/12/12) in Delhi, the Justice Ve r m a C o m m i t t e e was constituted by the Notification SO(3003)E to look into possible amendments of the Criminal Law to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women. A public notice Source: was issued on 24/12/12 asking for suggestion to be sent to the Committee by emails, post and fax by 5/1/13. In response, around 80,000 responses sent by activists NGOs and the general people.

USE CASE: CROWDCRISISCONTROL Review of crowdsourcing tools for disaster management: Under the CROWDCRISISCONTROL project, a detail review of total of 25 tools (16 disaster management platforms and 9 mobile apps) addressing different aspects of the disaster management cycle (DMC) has been carried out by Marta Poblet, Esteban García-Cuesta and Pompeu Casanovas. They have identified these tools based on four basic criteria:

The Disaster Management Cycle

Various Crowdsourcing roles and degree of data processing performance

•  i) Most of the platforms reviewed (10 out of 16) are either open source, have some open source components or can be used for free. •  ii) As per core functionalities, the most common ones are data collection (12 instances) and data filtering and tagging (11 instances) •  iii) Up to 10 tools offer map and navigation functionalities and 6 of them include some module to manage volunteer effort.

•  i) the tool has been designed to be used on one or more phases of the emergency management cycle or, alternatively, it is applicable in this domain,

•  iv) Some mobile apps like Geopictures, UN Assign or FemaApp allow users to upload and share geo-tagged pictures.

• ii) the tool leverages at least one of the crowdsourcing roles e.g. crowds as sensors, social computers, reporters, or micro-taskers as part of the emergency management process,

•  v) Some apps like Pushpin and Vespucci are for editing and contributing data in OpenStreetMap,

• iii) the tool is currently available to end users, • iv) the tool comes with enough information (i.e. demos, use cases, technical documentation, etc.) to make an accurate assessment of its functionalities.

Main findings:

Source: Dave Hallmon, CC BY-ND 2.0, mentioned in M. Poblet (2013)

•  vi) Jointly’s aim is to facilitate self-organization of local communities in disaster relief efforts and Source: Prof. Marta Poblet, RMIT & UABIDT; (CROWDCRISISCONTROL Project).

•  vii) Fulcrum offers a suite of dedicated apps for disaster response (i.e. damage report, disaster shelter assessment, evacuee information).

IMMEDIATE OUTCOME: A NEW APPROACH TOWARDS NEXT GENERATION GOVERNANCE !  The immediate outcome of this PhD research would be the PhD thesis with the following components and contributions:

!  Potential Impact: If governments adopt the proposed approach and incorporate the Mobile-based Crowdsourcing Framework towards governance process, potential impact would be following:

1.  A Communication Framework for Digital Governance: It is being proposed in this PhD thesis that this communication framework is to execute for any type of governance issue as this approach would maximise the positive outcome.

"  ‘Power’ to the hands of citizens so it would contribute reducing ‘digital divide . "  This approach would ensure a high level of citizens participation in decision-making process.

2.  Next Generation Digital Governance Framework: This framework will be based on the principles of the Communication Framework for Digital Governance.

"  This approach would help to engage more citizens and meet citizens where they are.

3.  Contribute to the mobile application development for the CROWDCRISISCONTROL Project. 4.  A recommendation on the approach towards the next generation governance.

"  Promote affordable democratic practice. Fig. Different Communication levels in Digital Governance Framework

Fig. Next Generation Digital Governance Framework

"  Cheaper than computer based service. "  Easier interoperability.

PROPOSED FUTURE WORK Legal and cultural challenges Earlier I have mentioned about the immediate outcome and potential impact of my PhD Research. It is very clear that I am here to advocate for a new approach towards the next generation governance. However, governments need to work on some legal, technical and cultural issues: !  Legal issues in general: !  User Generated Contents (UGC): Any legal challenge related to user generated contents. !  Identification and Security: Any legal challenge related to identification and security of the end user. !  C u l t u r a l r e s i s t a n c e a n d i m p l e m e n t a t i o n s o f recommendations.

Overcoming Technical Challenges As available mobile apps and web apps / platforms for governance do not have the capacity to work as ubiquity platforms, there is a real need to develop such type of platform.

Fig. Next generation mobile-apps-server relation

Fig. Proposed m-gov apps

An interactive mobile apps to address dayto-day governance issues could be one of the best digital tools for people to take part in different issues directly. People should be able to install this apps in a simple mobile and they should be allowed to use their own language. For the sake of smart governance, governments should offer this mobile apps at free of cost. For this Fig. Architecture of m-governance apps purpose, a mobile device with some basic functions like making and receiving calls, sending and receiving texts i.e. SMS, taking photographs i.e. camera and identifying the carrier s location i.e. GPRS would be really productive to address the digital gap.

Buddhadeb Halder Doctoral candidate of Joint International Doctorate in Law, Science and Technology E-mail: Mob: +39-3290142237

Buddhadeb poster em last jd nov 2013