Dr Fletcher Tembo, Programme Director, Making All Voices Count (MAVC), an International Initiative Programme, has called grantees to develop effective relationships with their various governments at all levels of governance.

This, he said, should not be only at the national level but also at the districts, sub-national and civil servant levels of the governance structure.

Dr Tembo was speaking at the end of the programme sharing event in Accra, where all the projects sponsored under the initiative were brought together to exchange ideas on what worked and what did not seem to work better.

The programme focused on 12 countries across Africa and Asia: Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Liberia, Mozambique, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

He said those effective relationships create the room for innovation and urged the grantees to create a room for young people to innovate, because there was a lot of energy in them that could be harnessed

“We are supporting a lot of these young people to come out with ideas, develop technology and try it and this could be useful for governments, sub-national governments to reach out to their citizens and engage them accordingly,” he added.

He said their “focus is now to bring together lessons about what works and what does not in this field, and making sure they help to improve both policy and practice in the future.”

He said the MAVC has been fortunate to work with more than a hundred organisations, exploring the role of innovation and technology in making government more effective and accountable.

He said the initiative funds new ideas that amplified the voices of citizens and enable government to listen and respond, indicating that they apply creative and cutting-edge solution, many of which used technology.

Dr Tembo said the programme also explored the role innovation could play in securing responsive, accountable government and they were helping to build an evidence base on what works and what does not.

He said an observation at the end of all the projects, indicates that a lot of the governments were responding better to citizen engagement, where they show interest.

He said the relationship with governments has improved over the period with the implementation of various projects on the MAVC initiative.

Mr Lord Asante Fordjour, the Executive Director, Advocacy and Media Support Foundation, one of the grantees told the GNA that it had been a great opportunity as an Organization to work with MAVC on their flagship project, Action Voices, which seeks to promote citizen-government engagement.

He said through funding from MAVC they successfully piloted their project in the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly in Accra in 2016, which yielded positive results.

“We have been able to build innovative online and offline mobile technology platforms to connect citizens and the District Assembly functionaries to engage effectively,” he added.

He appealed to stakeholders in local governance sector including donors, who were interested in promoting citizens voice, popular participation and responsive governance at the district level to come on board and support their project.

“Our vision is to progressively scale up the Action Voices project in all the 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to strengthen citizens-government partnership, inclusive governance, popular participation and accountability,” he said.



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