The Electoral Commission (EC) on Friday launched its first-ever Communications Strategy Document which gives a clear roadmap in support of its five-year Strategic Plan.
The 88-page document, if thoroughly implemented, would result in transforming the image of the Commission, improve its relationship with stakeholders, give a better publicity of the Commission’s electoral activities, and increase public confidence in it.
It, therefore, details exactly how the EC would disseminate information to stakeholders on its programmes and activities to attain the objectives of the Strategic Plan.
It further outlines the Commission’s target audiences, communications principles, internal and external communications policies, and the channels that would be used for both internal and external communications.
Mrs Charlotte Osei, the EC Chairperson, said the Commission recognised that effective communication drove transparency, accountability and ultimately better services and outcomes.
“Our success in improving outcomes and the quality of the electoral services we provide is significantly dependent on our ability to look outward to serve the interest of the voting public,” she said.
“This communications strategy is the blue print of how we intend to effectively communicate with all internal and external stakeholders in order to meet our core electoral mandate,” she added.
Mrs Osei said the document spelt out how the strategy would be implement and the mechanisms for results evaluation at predetermined intervals.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided the necessary funding for the writing and printing of the document.
Mrs Osei said the Communications Strategy Document came at a time when the Commission had purposed to redefine its relationship with key stakeholders and reposition itself as a more transparent and responsive institution alive to its responsibilities of delivering credible world-class elections.
“We are aiming to be the Benchmark in Africa for the delivery of independent, trusted and world-class electoral outcomes.
“Effective communications is, therefore, imperative to building understanding and trust among our stakeholders,” Mrs Osei said.
She said in view of the fact that the Commission now had a well-structured Communications Department, it was expected that the team would diligently work towards implementing the activities contained in the Communications Strategy.
She said the USAID, through its Support for Governance and Democracy Programme, had been working closely with the EC towards a credible electoral process such as the redesigning of the Commission’s website and building the EC’s communication capacity.
Mr Robert P. Jackson, the US Ambassador to Ghana, said the launch was an important milestone in the quest to ensure that Ghana remained one of the world’s most open democracies and Ghanaians remained the world’s most engaged electorate.
“With just over 100 days until Ghana’s 2016 presidential election, we are clearly at a critical juncture. During the weeks ahead, the Commission has an important role to play. Communicating with the electorate is one of the most formidable – and consequential – challenges the Commissioners face.
“Without effective communication voters may misconstrue noble intentions and become disillusioned with the democratic process,” he said.
He said Ghana had one of the world’s most free presses and is one of the world’s most vibrant democracies.
“This Communications Strategy will equip voters with the knowledge they need to engage in elections,” the US Ambassador said.