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Strengthening democratic collaboration of citizens and politicians: A tool for restoring trust and increasing accountability

Previous research of Dr. Anja Osei (University of Konstanz) has identified a communication problem between Members of Parliament (MPs) in Africa and their constituents that has negative repercussions for the development of strong and accountable democracies. MPs are trapped in a role conflict between their formal tasks as law-makers and the needs of their voters that often take the form of clientelistic demands and personalized relations. We argue that technology – in the form of an App – can help to overcome some of these communication problems by providing a platform for information and institutionalized interaction between citizens and the political system. With a strong team of partners in academia, industry and politics we seek to develop and test a prototype of such an application. The results of this phase will later on serve as the basis for further grant applications, for example a Proof of Concept Grant of the European Research Council (ERC).