Penplusbytes to hold citizens’ forum on Grassroots participation in Governance
The question is often asked about how democratic formulas can be adjusted so that they are more sustainable, powerful and fulfilling at the grassroots level. Some of the solutions come from the development of both online and offline tools and platforms that enable citizens to engage with their governments and to hold duty bearers to account.
It is based on this backdrop that Penplusbytes is organizing a citizens forum on Thursday April 7th, 2016 at the northern regional capital, Tamale. It is intended to bring governance to the doorstep of citizens, especially those who are considered “democratic outsiders”, to have an input in decision making at the grassroots.
It will also serve as a platform for the assembly to inform citizens about their policy interventions, success stories and challenges in implementing projects while affording citizens the opportunity to question such interventions.
“This face-to-face forum complements our digital innovation efforts at transforming governance at the local level to enhance participatory budgeting, accountability and information sharing between the local assemblies and the people,” said Jerry Sam, director of Programmes at Penplusbytes.
He added, “we believe it will help create a governance system that citizens play the role of makers and shapers of policy rather than choosers and users.”
The forum will be attended by officials from the Municipal Assembly, CBOs, CSOs, journalists, identified citizens groups such as drivers unions, dress makers association and other vulnerable groups.
This Citizens forum is the third in the series under the project “Grassroots Open Government using digital tools project” Making All Voices Count (MAVC), aimed at enhancing communication and information sharing between citizens and local government in two districts of Ghana; Dangbe (Ada) East District of Greater Accra and the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly in the Northern Region, focusing on public service delivery; health, education and sanitation through a collaborative and integrated approach.
The project will ultimately strengthen the engagement frameworks between citizens and governments for purposes of effective monitoring of programmes, development projects, budget appropriation and decision making within the targeted districts.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower the media through the use of Information and Communications Technology to advance journalism in the coverage of governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and mining, oil and gas.
Making All Voices Count (MAVC) is an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia.