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September 12 Tuesday

Online Governance Delivery In India & South East Asia - Are Platforms Succeeding Where Governments are Failing? Raheel Khursheed, Twitter India

  • Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 12:10PM - 1:30PM
  • Room 121
  • Open To The Public
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The Government of India uses Twitter effectively to communicate with citizens. Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) and his cabinet ministers use Twitter to share updates on economic development policies, make public announcements, and even use the platform to bring people together over a flagship campaign. Over the last 2 years, Twitter worked with various ministries on how they can increase their Twitter outreach and effectively manage the volume of Tweets coming in from citizens and developed a customised e-governance delivery service platform for the Indian government called Twitter Seva, an India-first innovation at Twitter. The multiple awards winning customer service delivery solution offers a mechanism to respond to public queries and grievances by helping process large volumes of Tweets, converting them into resolvable tickets, and assigning them to the relevant authority for real-time resolution. Twitter Seva is currently being used by the Ministry of Commerce (@DIPPGOI), Ministry of External Affairs (@MEAIndia), the Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia), Department of Telecommunications (@Dot_India) under the Ministry of Communication, as well as the Bengaluru Police (@BlrCityPolice). The Twitter Seva solution is now being adopted by thousands of official government accounts on Twitter and processing approximately 1 Million Tweets per month, with each Tweet stacking up as a metric of the government’s and various departments’ intent to deliver effective and transparent service.

Along the lines of Twitter Seva, a range of other civic Tech products have found success in India. #Breathe tells Indian citizens instantly what their air quality is like. What has led to the mass adoption of these products in India? Should platforms step in where Governments are struggling to scale their own e-governance solutions? Is their adoption by the government on the right side of vendor neutrality & interoperability frameworks? Raheel will try and answer some of these questions as he critiques his own work using policy & legal frameworks.


Raheel Khursheed works at the intersection of news, politics, governance, online organizing, and disaster response. Currently, Khursheed heads News Partnerships for Twitter in India and Southeast Asia.  At Twitter, Khursheed has lead the conception, development, and roll-out of award-winning, mass adopted civic tech products—Twitter Seva, Twitter Samvad, SmartFeed—that democratize information, help governments do their jobs with accountability and transparency, and enable meaningful citizen engagement at scale. Evangelising these products, Khursheed has trained thousands of Govt. Officials on how to to use social media for governance delivery, in the process building state capacity across diverse sectors and vast geographies in India. Khursheed’s innovative product and partnerships work—from Twitter SMS alerts to live data on national television— has dramatically altered how elections and politics are narrated in India. He previously served as director of communications for India at Change.org, leading an effective strategy that successfully seeded petitioning as an organizing tool. He organized the ‘Stop Rape’ campaign that helped change the rape laws in India. A cross-platform journalist and storyteller, Khursheed has worked in, written, produced, field produced and broken stories for outlets such as Vice, PBS, ProPublica, BBC-PRI and a host of publications across the world. For Mercy Corps International, Khursheed executed a highly successful Participatory Planning Youth Leadership Project in Kashmir, where more than 700 Kashmiri youth received leadership and negotiating training. Khursheed then extended the training to more than 200 key stakeholders, including law enforcement agents and political and business leaders in Kashmir. Khursheed is passionate about the intersection of technology and social change and speaks frequently at conferences and media outlets globally. Khursheed is a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard & a member of the 2017 class of Asia 21, the Asia-Pacific’s foremost network of young leaders

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