Penplusbytes to Hold Citizens forum to promote grassroots participation in governance
Penplusbytes will, on Monday 9th May, 2016, hold the 4th citizens’ forum under its project “Grassroots Open Government Using New Digital Tools” in the Ada East District 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 Making All Voices Count (MAVC), the project seeks to promote transparency and accountability at the community level in Ghana focusing on key issues in local government, health, sanitation and education. 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 second of its kind in Ada, 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. The Ada East District Assembly and Tamale Metropolitan Assembly are the two MMDA beneficiaries of the project.
Explaining the need for the forum, Director of Programmes at Penplusbytes, Jerry Sam, said “The citizens’ forum fills any gap the deployment of the new digital tools may not be able to accomplish by giving grassroots citizens, who for one reason or the other cannot use the digital tools, an opportunity to participate in governance.”
“This face-to-face engagement will also provide a platform for the assembly to directly account to the citizens of Ada and court their support and consent for policy decision-making and implementation, and on the part of the citizens, an opportunity to play the role of makers and shapers rather than choosers and users of interventions or services designed by duty-bearers.”
It is expected that, the “Grassroots Open Government Using New Digital Tools” project will ensure citizens at the local level have a say in how resources allocated for development are prudently utilised to eradicate poverty and stimulate wealth creation using both new digital tools and face-to-face interventions such as public forums and community radio.
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 Dangbe (Ada) East District Assembly in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana.
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.