Broadcasting Model

 Underlying Principle  

Broadcasting model is based on mass dissemination of governance-related information which is already available in the public domain into the wider public domain using ICTs. This raises awareness among the citizens about ongoing governance processes and government services that are available to them and how they can benefit from them.

 

It allows citizens to form an opinion of the government and its administration based on services delivered to them - whether the government services were available to them, and the quality of service received. This could be judged in terms of time spent, number of visits required. and level of bureaucracy encountered to avail the services. Equipped with this information, the citizens can feel more empowered to voice their concerns and influence governance processes to make them more efficient. 

 

The application of this model using appropriate technologies, could reduce the "information failure situations" where citizens are unaware of new and existing services being provided by the government. It can also provide as alternative channel to people to stay updated of governance related information and to validate information received from other sources. 

 

 

Applications 

·         Putting governmental laws and legislations online

·         Making available the names, contact addresses, emails, mobile numbers of local/ regional/ national government officials online. 

·         Make available information such as governmental plans, budgets, expenditures, and performance reports online. 

·         Putting key judicial decisions which are of value to general citizens and create a precedence for future actions online. viz. key environmental decisions, state vs. citizen decisions etc.  

 

Discussions

The Broadcasting Model is a stepping stone to more complex Digital Governance models. It is also the most fundamental model as it enhances 'access' and 'flow' of information to all segments of the society, which is essential to bringing good governance.

 

In several developing counties, even the basic governance-related information is unavailable, for instance, the opening and closing times of government offices, or information government department and units which deal with specific issues such as agricultural subsidies or getting licence for opening a business.

 

Central and state governments in developing countries need to aggressively adopt this model to provide greater governance services to their constituencies, and to enhance the participation of citizens in governance processes. Simultaneously, the civil society groups should demand for such models to enable access to governance information which can improve the quality of lives of people.

 

The model can lose its effectiveness in societies, where the free-flow of information is not possible. This can happen in countries where freedom of speech and expression, or political freedom is restricted, or there are tight governmental controls to censor information. The model also loses its effectiveness in situation of optimal ignorance. This happens when citizens are indifferent / not motivated to act upon information available to them, or when governments and decision-makers take wrong decisions, not because of absence of information, but complete disregard of available information.