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USAID Staffer Tracker

Last week we said USAID administrator Raj Shah couldn’t captain his own ship without a crew of Senate-confirmed leaders.  Good news: the administration has since nominated a deputy administrator and assistant administrator for democracy, conflict, and humanitarian assistance; so four of the eleven subsequent appointees have been named.  Bad news: zero have been confirmed.  Check out our USAID Staffer Tracker below for more detail.  We’ll keep it updated.

Connecting Citizens: Rakesh Rajani on Public Accountability in East Africa

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We've selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on March 30, 2010.

Has technology boosted the ability of citizens in African countries to influence their governments? This week, I'm joined by Rakesh Rajani, founder and head of Twaweza, an initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in Tanzania and other countries in East Africa. His organization has made good use of both new and old technologies—cellphones, TV, and radio broadcasts—to expand the ability of citizens to access government information and hold their leaders accountable.

Rakesh tells me that cellphone use has exploded in the last decade in Tanzania, rising from perhaps 200,000 users to over 14 million today. Except for the most remote areas of the country, he says, just about everyone can access a mobile phone. That new connectivity, Rakesh explains, has opened new channels for reducing corruption in government.