Public Perceptions of the Role of IT in Resolving Governance Challenges in a Transition State: THe Case of Tanzania

Lucas Mimbi, Michael Kyobe


International bodies and donors demand that countries demonstrate how they use IT to ensure effective governance. However, measuring the role of IT in governance remains problematic, particularly in transition economies characterised by poor IT capabilities. This paper measured public perceptions of the role of IT in addressing governance challenges in transition Tanzania. The paper identifies (i) usage of IT for governance and democratic purposes, (ii) governance processes and (iii) external pressures as key interplaying factors influencing effective governance. Adopting the Gestalts (configurational) approach, we argue that IT contributes to effective governance when it is coherent with (ii) and (iii). One hundred and sixty six members of the public were surveyed and cluster analysis was used to determine the degree of coherence. None of the three clusters of (i), (ii) and (iii) that emerged revealed a strong coherent relationship, indicating that IT was not playing a major role in addressing governance challenges in transition Tanzania. 


Governance; Tanzania; transition countries; information technology; alignment; cluster analysis; gestalt; socialism

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The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries.
ISSN: 1681-4835