About 20 community radio journalists in Ellembelle in the Western Region of Ghana and Twifo Atti Morkwa in the Central Region are to be trained by Penplusbytes on using data journalism skills to report their local assemblies’ budgets and development plans from 17th to 19th September 2018.
Following the success of a similar training about a week ago in Tema, Penplusbytes with support from DW Akademie is undertaking this training as part of activities under its project- “Access to Information- Open Gov”. Building on gains from the pilot phase of the project in 2015, Penplusbytes, for the Phase II of the project, seeks to use new digital tools to connect ordinary citizens to duty-bearers at the local government levels (in selected districts in the Upper West, Greater Accra, Central and the Western Regions of Ghana) with a focus on building the capacity of selected journalists in the project districts to use data journalism skills to better report on District Assembly budgets and development plans.
The project which is aimed at enhancing information and knowledge sharing in the districts will also involve updating the OpenGov platform (www.opengov.org.gh) with the current development plans and budgets from the 4 project districts (Tema Municipal Assembly, Twifo Atti-Morkwa District Assembly, Ellembelle District Assembly and Wa Municipal Assembly) and consistently using SMS to engage citizens and duty bearers. This will accumulate in the overall sharing of usable information that citizens can use to monitor and engage duty-bearers on the district’s development plans and budgets.
Lead trainer and the executive director of Penplusbytes, Mr. Kwami Ahiabenu II, said “our experience from the first training in Tema is what has informed a better approach for this batch of training. Though similar, we need to be realistic about the level of expertise of community radio reporters outside the capital city. This is what Penplusbytes stands for, innovative approach to all that we do.”
The community journalists would be oriented on the opengov platform as well as given hands on practical lessons on how to use basic data journalism skills to engage their listeners and audiences.
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 driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.