Penplusbytes with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has inaugurated Community Monitoring Group to man the “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” project launched in Nkroful in the Western Region.
The nine-member group has representatives from gender focused groups, the district assembly, journalists and community groups.
The Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results project is aimed at using new digital tools to hold government accountable within the political and social frameworks.
The project, which is currently being implemented in the Ellembele District and the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region, seeks to use tech tools to engage in policy implementation and demand accountability through monitoring public service delivery.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Nana Kwesi Kutuah V, Chief of Nkroful, admonished the district assembly to ensure that national policies met the needs of citizens, especially those at the grassroots, to enable them have access to social intervention projects.
“A lot of people do not have any information about these social intervention projects and so are not able to demand what is due them and also hold duty-bearers to account on how these interventions are being implemented,” Nana Kutuah said.
He said the district was faced with a myriad of challenges with many households afflicted by poverty.
He said social interventions like the School Feeding Programme, Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and the Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP) were helping to alleviate the peri-urban poverty being experienced by many citizens in the district.
Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, Executive Director of Penplusbytes, said the Tech Driven Social Accountability project was a two-year project which was focusing on the implementation of national policies at the grassroots.
He said: “we are excited that we are able to enable citizen’s participation in policy implementation at the grassroots using digital tools by focusing on ensuring effective service delivery and government interventions yielding the right results to improve the lives of the populace.”
The event provided citizens the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarifications on how they could benefit from some of the social accountability projects.
Some of the nagging questions were on the eligibility to LEAP funds, access to tools provided under the LIPW and the extension of the school feeding programme to public schools in Nkroful and other towns in the Ellembelle District.
Over 400 community members from Aiyinase, Kangule, Essiama, Bazua, Menzezo, Bukazzo, Nkroful participated in the event.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organisation 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 utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.
The OSIWA is active in 10 countries; Ghana, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
It focuses on law, justice and human rights, economic and political governance and the development of open societies by supporting and building partnerships with local and regional groups that promote inclusive democratic governance.