Penplusbytes to hold Citizens’ Forum to Promote Grassroots Participation in Governance
Penplusbytes will, on Tuesday 21st November 2017, hold a citizens’ forum under its project “OpenGov Platform -Access to Information” in the Wa Municipality to enable citizens at the district level of governance to have a voice in how resources are managed in their communities and also participate in the governance process.
With funding from DW Akademie, the project is a build-up on the existing Penplusbytes’ www.opengov.org.gh online assets, which seeks to bring all district assemblies in Ghana online and provide an online platform where citizens have access to information on district assemblies’ development plans and budgets on selected thematic areas.
The project intends to take advantage of the proliferation of affordable ICT tools in Ghana and explore the myriad of new opportunities it offers to empower citizens in the quest for more transparency and accountability
Through a collaborative and integrated approach, the project makes use of a set of tested digital tools including an interactive online platform integrated with Mobile app, SMS; traditional media, and an information and knowledge management tool.
The forum, the first in the series, is expected to help promote effective, responsive and responsible governance, and effective public service delivery at the local level for poverty reduction and wealth creation. Three more public forums are expected to take place in the other project districts (Twifo Atti-Morkwa District Assembly in the Central Region, Tema Metropoltan Assembly in Greater Region, and Ellembelle District Assembly in the Western region) before the year ends.
Explaining the need for the forum, Director of Programmes at Penplusbytes, Jerry Sam, said “this face-to-face engagement will also provide a platform for the assembly to directly account to the people of Wa and court their support and consent for policy decision-making and implementation, and the citizens would thereby play an active role and not only be users of interventions or services designed by duty-bearers.”
It is expected that, the “OpenGov Platform -Access to Information” project will improve access to information and enable citizens become active agents in the formulation and implementation of social policies and not mere users and choosers of policies, which do not always meet their needs.
The forum is expected to bring together assembly members, community members, opinion leaders, community based organisations (CBOs) and stakeholders in health, sanitation and education from the Wa Municipal Assembly in the Upper West Region of Ghana.
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.
DW Akademie is Germany’s leading organization for international media development. DW supports the development of free and transparent media, quality journalism, and also offer programs to boost media skills.