Accra, March 30, GNA – The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), in collaboration with the International Institute for ICT Journalism, on Friday launched a project on the use of New Media for Communication.

This is an effort to improve on accountability, transparency and bring governance closer to the grassroots.
New Media is an interactive form of communication, which enable the citizenry and other stakeholders connect to reliable sources to find information relevant to the development of their localities.
Dr Nii Naaku Quaynor, Director-General, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), lauded the initiative as it would allow the citizenry in the communities to express themselves on developmental issues using internet and mobile phones.
He said the project was aimed at using web enabled tools and SMS to drive greater governance and economic transparency at the community level within the framework of accountability in public spending.
Dr Quaynor said:  “The community would have the opportunity of using various channels such as SMS, community radio, face-to-face meeting and internet to access information relevant to their community on health and education”.
He explained that community members who sent information via any of the channels would have feedback acknowledging receipt of their message and would be notified once a response was received from the relevant authority.
Dr Esther Offei-Aboagye, Executive Director of ILGS, noted that health and education had been selected for the pilot project due to their importance to local communities.
As a pilot intervention, the project had selected Kassena-Nankana East District in the Upper East Region and Abura-Asebu Kwamankese District  in the Central Region due to their growing population.
She said: “AAKD share border with Cape Coast, Twifo-Hemang, Assin Fosu and Mfantseman which attract a lot of migrants while KNED is gradually becoming an urban settlement and shares borders with four districts in Ghana as well as Burkina Faso.”
Mr Vincent Adzato-Ntem, Chief Director in-charge of Human Resource, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, pledged the Ministry’s commitment towards ensuring social accountability in the country.
He cited the introduction of Community Based Rural Development Project, Urban Poverty Reduction Project  and Northern Poverty Reduction Strategy  as some intervention introduced by government to bring about social accountability.

Mr Adzato-Ntem lauded the European Union for supporting four non-governmental organizations to undertake various interventions to promote social accountability in the country.
Mobile Telecommunication Network  can text to short code 7000 while other networks can text to short code 1902 for inquiries on health and educational issues bordering them.

GNA

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