The authorities of Penplusbytes, (International Institute of ICT Journalism) in partnership with coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSO), has launched the Ghana Post Elections Intervention Project to hold elected officials accountable to their campaign promises.
The project is to overcome the challenges and problems affecting citizens and the media’s ability to hold elected representatives accountable for the promises made during elections.
It began in March 2010 and expected to end in March 2011.
Its objective is to promote a culture of political accountability by strengthening processes that lead to fulfilment of electoral promises and the delivery of visible and impact-driven dividends of democracy.
Members of the CSOs include Centre for Democratic Development, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Edge Cube, technology firms and academia.
Dr Kwabena Riverson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Penplusbytes, who launched the project in Accra on Wednesday, said “this is a pioneering project to focus on how the media can become more effective in holding elected officials accountable”.
He said it would be piloted in two geographical areas: Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly in the Western Region.
It will allow the tracking of local government political performance because both assemblies presented different sets of demands and placed complete and diverse challenges on the government both in its promises and attainment of national and local government development agenda.
Dr Riverson said it would use various sources of information in tracking developmental issues as promised by elected officials during their campaigns: President’s sessional address, budget statements and Parliamentary question time.
The rest include statements by the President and Sector Ministries as captured by the press, statements and publications by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund including field officers who would furnish the project with research work undertaken in the various government agencies.
The Project is part of the broader African Elections Project, established in 2008 and co-ordinated by the International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) working with OSIWA as its main sponsor.
Meanwhile, the group has launched a book titled “Because Accountability Counts: A Journalist’s Guide to Post Elections in Ghana”, which provides a unique insight into how journalists can effectively cover post elections issues in Ghana.