#speakup barometer: Digital participation in eight countries | #mediadev - media development insights and analysis | DW | 17.09.2019
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#speakup barometer: Digital participation in eight countries

To what extent can people and the media access and use the Internet according to their needs? DW Akademie's color-coded #speakup barometer ranks eight countries according to these and other criteria.

In an interview with Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, he argues that digital participation also means social participation. But to what extent can people really take part and under what conditions? Discussions on this complex issue have to date been fairly basic, given the poor availability of data. DW Akademie’s #speakup barometer, however, takes a much closer look. This accessible online research tool not only provides information on the latest developments but also points to current problems and offers possible solutions.

More than 100 experts from eight DW Akademie focus countries – Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Ukraine, Myanmar, Colombia and Pakistan – were interviewed over the last 18 months on issues such as digital rights and overall social conditions. Their responses and appraisals form the basis of eight country reports. Five aspects were examined: access, digital rights, media and journalism, innovation and society. The results are clearly presented together with infographics. The reports also contain suggestions for improvements as well as further links.

Developed by DW Akademie, the #speakup barometer ranks the findings in a color-code scale ranging from red to green. While red indicates heavily restricted digital participation, green indicates high digital participation. The results point to current conditions as well as future developments, potentials and risks.

Looking ahead, this approach can also be applied to other countries. A direct comparison shows how digital participation can strengthen freedom of expression and access to information. As a result, #speakup barometer should be part of all discussions regarding participation and digital media.

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