Guest Talk by Prof. Chrisanthi Avgerou and Dr. Silvia Masiero of LSE on ‘Explaining trust in e-voting: The case of Indian elections’

Date: 10-5-2016

Description: As a part of the CITAPP talk series, Prof. Chrisanthi Avgerou (Professor and Head of the Information Systems and Innovation Group) and Dr. Silvia Masiero of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) presented their ongoing research on “Explaining trust in e-voting: The case of Indian elections” at IIITB on 10th May 2016.

Electronic voting and counting technologies are increasingly used in elections around the world. Some countries, however, are leaving technology behind and re-adopting paper balloting, as is the case in the Netherlands and Germany. It is important, in this moment, to understand the opportunities presented by e-voting, and assessing the potential risks and challenges it may present. At the same time, it is important to understand the factors and processes leading to trust in e-voting, its maintenance and decline in the countries adopting it.

Elections in India have been mediated by a system constructed out of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and other artifacts for more than 15 years. Designed in response to specific issues, EVMs provide the same voting technology across all the country’s 29 states and 7 union territories. We are interested in the mechanisms flowing from state-level political context to the formation, maintenance and decline of trust. We plan to investigate this by observation of elections in a set of Indian states, adopting the same EVM technology but experiencing different levels of trust in elections: in doing so, we hope to formulate an argument on the processes linking trust to diverse elements of political context. A likely development of this research in progress will be that of conducting Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) on the states in point, to conceptualise the theoretical link between context and trust in e-voting.

Professor and Head of Information Systems and Innovations Group at LSE. Her main interests concern the relationship of ICT to organisational change and the role of ICT in socio-economic development. She chaired the IFIP Technical Committee 9 on social implications of information technology from 2004 till 2010 and the IFIP WG 9.4 group on ICT in developing countries from 1996 till 2003. She has served as Associate Editor of the Information Systems Research Journal and the MIS Quarterly. She is Fellow of the British Computer Society and Fellow of the Association for Information Systems.

is a Research Officer at the LSE Department of Management. Her research focuses on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the field of socio-economic development. She studies the multiple forms of embeddedness of the IT artefact in development policy and governance, with a specific interest in its participation in the politics of anti-poverty programmes. Her doctoral work revolves around the role of digital technologies in reshaping the politics of the Public Distribution System (PDS), the biggest food security programme in India. Her current work with Prof. Avgerou investigates the formation of  trust in electronically mediated elections in a set of Indian states.

CITAPP at IIIT Bangalore is an interdisciplinary think-tank set-up to focus on the policy challenges and the organizational demands made by technological innovation. Of particular interest to the Centre is how technological advances, along with institutional changes that harness the legitimacy and the powers of bureaucracies and market, address the needs of underserved communities.