What social media can do for democracy

By Molly Anders 26 October 2015

Social media is the key to achieving accountability in a modern democracy, Mongolia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Lundeg Purevsuren tells Devex associate editor Richard Jones.

For a country to be democratic, it’s no longer enough to hold elections every four or five years, Mongolia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Lundeg Purevsuren told Devex associate editor Richard Jones in this #DemocracyMatters interview.

“We should secure the trust of young people,” Purevsuren said, pointing to the high rates of unemployment among youth as a key driver of the public’s mistrust and disappointment in government. “It’s the responsibility of politicians to listen to their voices and to pay attention, which also means securing the future and quality of the democracy.”

Social media is an opportunity for politicians and government officials to quickly and comprehensively demonstrate accountability to the public, Purevsuren said. And social media works both ways, he added, allowing modern governments to “listen to the opinions of the public and young people every day.”

“Even myself and my president are tweeting, using Facebook,” he said.

For Mongolia — which in July celebrated 25 years of free and democratic elections — the path to accountability has not been easy, Purevsuren said. But looking forward, the challenge will be “sustainable and inclusive growth and development,” achieved through maintaining online accountability and creating a “modern” government.

Democracy Matters is a global conversation hosted by Devex, in partnership with International IDEA, to discuss accountability as a central element of deepening democracy. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation using #DemocracyMatters.

About the author

Molly Andersmollyanders_dev

Molly is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in London, she covers U.K. foreign aid and trends in international development. She draws on her experience covering aid legislation and the USAID implementer community in Washington, D.C., as well as her time as a Fulbright Fellow and development practitioner in the Middle East to develop stories with insider analysis.

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