“IMANI demonstrates the vital role that civil society organizations can play in making government leaders more accountable to citizens,” said Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips. “Its IMANIFesto Campaign finally forces politicians to reconcile their campaign rhetoric with the real-world trade-offs that face policymakers in office.”

The IMANIFesto campaign was broad in its digital reach – over 4 million watched the broadcast of the report launch. IMANIFesto reached more than 2 million Facebook users and 1 million Twitter users from August and November 2016. And it had more than 20 direct media placements on radio, traditional, electronic, and state-run media outlets. A famous cartoonist even published a cartoon called “Manifesto Inspector” in the Daily Graphic, Ghana’s most read newspaper, depicting IMANI President Franklin Cudjoe scrutinizing the political promises from the leaders of major political parties.

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The impact of the IMANIFesto project is undeniable. It provided a country easy-to-consume information about the issues of the election and the viability of the various political promises from each party and, according to Kenneth Ashigbey (editor-in-chief and managing director of the Daily Graphic), it functioned as “a barometer of legitimacy for the masses.” This allowed the 2016 election to transcend its usual partisan, religious, and tribal lines. IMANI’s work also forced party leaders to revise their party manifestos to increase their feasibility and thus their attractiveness to the electorate. IMANI is even working with think tanks in Nigeria to duplicate this work for Nigerian elections. The campaign on the whole had a dual effect: first, it educated an electorate that previously lacked access to information about the various campaign promises of political parties that preyed upon such a lack of access, and second, it induced those parties to revise their poorly formulated platforms or risk being punished by voters at the ballot box.

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IMANI is the only African think tank among the six think tanks from Brazil, Canada, Mexico, U.S. and Ghana named finalists for 2017 Templeton Freedom Award.

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