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[liberationtech] Combating Corruption with Mobile Phones in India - FSI Stanford

Yosem Companys companys at
Thu Oct 17 10:01:04 PDT 2013

Combating Corruption with Mobile Phones in India   
*CDDRL, Program on Liberation Technology Seminar Series*

October 17, 2013
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Open to the public
No RSVP required

Vivek Srinivasan <> - 
Academic Research & Program Manager at Stanford University

Mr. Srinivasan will discuss an ambitious project by the Program on 
Liberation Technology to fight corruption with mobile phones. The project 
is being designed with partners in four states of India on issues such as 
education, health and social protection for some of the most vulnerable 
communities in India.  The project has started at a time when technology 
for transparency and accountability projects have come under increasing 
scrutiny. For example, a series of papers have questioned if transparency 
has an impact in improving accountability, and thus have raised questions 
on the very premise of such projects.  Similarly, the Open Data movement 
succeeded in getting data in the public sphere but most datasets are 
languishing with no takers.  He will discuss what these studies mean for 
the project, and some insights from it on designing technologies for 
transparency and accountability.

*Vivek Srinivasan* joined the Liberation Technology Program as the Manager 
in February 2011 after completing my Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the 
Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Prior to this, I worked with 
campaigns on various socio-economic rights in India, including the right to 
food, education and the right to information. Based on these experiences I 
have written (and co-authored) extensively on issues surrounding the right 
to food, including *Notes from the right to food campaign: people's 
movement for the right to food* (2003), *Rights based approach and human 
development: An introduction* (2008),*Gender and the right to food: A 
critical re-examination* (2006), *Food Policy and Social Movements: 
Reflections on the Right to Food Campaign in India* (2007).

In working with these campaigns, I realised the widespread disparities in 
the provision of basic public services in India. This led me examine how 
Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state, developed extensive commitment to 
providing such services to all its residents in my doctoral dissertation. 
 Currently, I am expanding this work by looking at the dynamics behind the 
provision of public services across Indian states.

As a full-time activist, I also experimented with various IT platforms to 
make the campaigns effective. This interest brought me to the Liberation 
Technology Program at Stanford.  At the Liberation Technology Program, I am 
initiating projects relating to the use of technology to promote greater 
transparency and accountability in governments. My broader interests 
include collective action for socio-economic rights, the use of technology 
for public action, development studies and South Asian politics.

Wallenberg Theater
Wallenberg Hall
450 Serra Mall, Building 160
Stanford, Ca 94305-2055
» Directions/Map <>
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