Penplusbytes Shares Lessons from its Social Accountability project with CSOs in West African Countries
Penplusbytes is part of a selected group of civil society organisations (CSOs) from 9 West African countries to share experiences and lessons from pioneering social accountability initiatives in their respective countries from the 3rd to 5th December in Conakry, Guinea.
During the learning workshop organized by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Penplusbytes will showcase its ground-breaking “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” project which used new digital tools to contribute to citizens’ ability to hold government to account within the framework of political and social accountability.
The 2-year project equipped citizens in selected districts in Ghana with usable information, methods, online and mobile based platform that sought to enable citizens to monitor health and education sector policies, indicators and programs while actively engaging duty-bearers to demand for better service delivery.
According to Jerry Sam, the Programmes Director at Penplusbytes, “this workshop will provide the opportunity to advocate for the adoption of the Penplusbytes “kakum” platform an integrated tool which enhances communication and information sharing between citizens and government.”
“The platform innovatively combines an online platform, emails, SMS, social media and a mobile application to support citizen ability to actively engage duty-bearers in planning, implementation and monitoring government budgets, plans and policies.” He added.
The overall objective of the learning workshop is to provide the selected CSOs an opportunity for the grant partners of Ford Foundation and OSIWA to learn from each other’s experiences. The learning programme will provide a practical platform for the CSOs to better understand the mechanisms that have been utilized in the region, to exact public accountability through the active participation of ordinary citizens and civic groups.
This workshop is envisaged as a pilot initiative to kick-start a series of dialogues and experience sharing convening on social accountability. A key product that emanated from the workshop is the development of a Social Accountability Guide Book for West Africa that was designed to be utilized as a learning tool and a reference document to scale up existing initiatives.
There will also be a review of the Social Accountability Guide Book for West Africa which features Penplusbytes “Tech-Driven Social Accountability for Results” project as a case study on ICTs and Social Accountability in West Africa.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and enhancing media oversight for effective utilization of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.