Request for Research Proposals: ICTs During the 2013 Elections in Kenya

The Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) at the University of Pennsylvania, together with the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford, announces a call for proposals for a case study research project regarding the use of ICTs (particularly mobile phones and the internet) during Kenya’s 2013 elections.

After the violence that occurred during the Kenyan elections of 2007-2008, Kenya’s government, its civil society, and its citizens expressed concern about the 2013 elections, and the potential for violence arising from inflammatory speech. The purpose of this project is to explore ICT use during the recent elections as it relates to monitoring, curbing, or even promoting hate speech.

Project specifics:

1) The research should focus on the use of ICT initiatives aimed at engaging citizens in reporting incidents of violence, electoral fraud, or hate speech during the 2013 elections (such as, but not limited to, Uchaguzi)

2) The project should focus on the end-user (citizens) primarily, and other stakeholders secondarily. We want to deepen understanding of how individuals made use of new communications technology during the elections, and whether use of online platforms or mobile devices coincides or diverges (or both) from the goals and designs of those that created the project, those who implemented the project, and those who funded it.

3) Conclusions and insights arising from the analysis should include how ICT-enabled projects contribute to peacebuilding and what these projects suggest about future efforts to use ICTs for peacebuilding.

This project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation, is part of a larger research program on the role of ICTs in statebuilding and peacebuilding in East Africa.

Applicants must be individuals or institutions based in Kenya.

Applications are due September 9, 2013. For the full RFP, please click here.

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