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Digital civic engagement, open data, and the informal sector: a think piece

Hasselwander, Marc and Kiko, Mwendwa and Johnson, Ted (2022) Digital civic engagement, open data, and the informal sector: a think piece. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 16, p. 100700. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.trip.2022.100700. ISSN 2590-1982.

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Digitalization and advances in information and communications technologies (ICT) are having a major impact on urban transport and the way people move around cities. However, this hardly relates to informal transport in the global South. Despite its importance and the fact that billions of people depend on it, insufficient efforts have been made by policymakers to improve informal transport services. In this think piece, we propose that this circumstance can be addressed on two counts through digital civic engagement and open data. In the digital age, civic engagement is no longer only associated with voluntary work at community level, but it is also very effective remotely. Digital civic engagement leverages social media to create awareness for in-situ concerns and provides a platform for local volunteers to connect with international experts to create people-centered solutions (e.g., mobile apps). Open data stimulates and facilitates digital civic engagement, which, in turn, can lead to the creation of more open data. Cities and local authorities should encourage and foster this virtuous cycle, and make transport data sets openly available. This can spur innovation and promote sustainable mobility behavior – with volunteers being powerful agents driving these efforts. Indeed, the case of the Trufi Association demonstrates that open data (e.g., in the form of volunteered geographic information) and the development of mobile apps in several developing cities have helped make informal transport more visible and transparent. The insights from the informal transport field can serve as an impetus for other sectors of the informal economy – such as retail, commerce, agriculture, manufacturing, and services – to promote digital civic engagement and open data to bring about positive change.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/191579/
Document Type:Article
Title:Digital civic engagement, open data, and the informal sector: a think piece
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Hasselwander, MarcUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0852-5093UNSPECIFIED
Date:October 2022
Journal or Publication Title:Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:p. 100700
Keywords:Digital civic engagement, Volunteered geographic information (VGI), Open data, Digitalization, Mobile apps, Informal transport, Global South
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Transport System
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VS - Verkehrssystem
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Transport und Klima (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transport Research > Mobility and Urban Development
Deposited By: Hasselwander, Dr. Marc
Deposited On:10 Jan 2023 17:42
Last Modified:20 Sep 2023 04:15

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