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[liberationtech] Rajesh Veeraraghavan at Stanford Liberationtech's Seminar on Nov 21

Yosem Companys companys at
Wed Nov 20 13:13:21 PST 2013

Here is the talk title and the abstract.

Controlling "Last-Mile" Corruption Through Open Governance
Program on Liberation Technology Seminar Series

November 21, 2013
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Open to the public
No RSVP required

Rajesh Veeraraghavan - PhD student at the UC Berkeley School of
Information. at UC Berkeley

To what extent can information and technology be used to eliminate
government corruption? In this talk, I examine an ambitious "open
governance" experiment by the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in
the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) within a
bureaucracy to reduce corruption. I examine attempts of the state in
achieving transparency through intra-state surveillance using
technologies and by creating a hybrid state-civil society institution
to involve beneficiaries to openly inspect formerly closed government
records through a process of "social audits". While acknowledging that
endemic corruption that tends to happen in the local "last mile" of
such schemes has been reduced, I show how local bureaucrats and
politicians also discovered ways to subvert these efforts of control.
My work suggests that the future of such informational transparency
government programs lies in recognizing that the move towards
"openness" is more of a political project than a technological and
bureaucratic one that needs wider participation from those it intends
to benefit.

Rajesh Veeraraghavan is a Ph.D. candidate at U.C. Berkeley’s School of
Information. Prior to his doctoral work, he was an associate
researcher at Microsoft Research, India, where his work focused on
building appropriate technologies for agriculture. In his past, he
worked as a software developer at Microsoft in the US for several
years. He has volunteered for the non-profit Association for India's
Development in the US for a decade. Veeraraghavan holds a Master's
degree in Computer Science from Clemson University, Master's degree in
Economics from Cleveland State University, and Bachelor's degrees in
Economics and Management from Birla Institute of Technology & Science,
Pilani, India.

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