Savana Signatures
Savana Signatures

MSIG seeks to provide an opportunity for women, youth, people living with HIV/AIDS and people with disability to participate in local governance by providing an effective communication pathway for them to communicate with the local assemblies.

Savana Signatures
Savana Signatures

Speaking to the media at the side lines of an information session workshop in Tamale, the Executive Director of Savana Signatures, John Stephen Agbenyo emphasized that MSIG will provide District Assemblies an opportunity to use a mobile based platform to facilitate communication with their citizens.

“The overall outcome of the project aims to increase the participation of women, youth and PWDs in local governance, especially in the provision of public goods and services”. He reiterated.

The pilot project of the MSIG was carried out in 2014 in the Tamale Metropolis, Yendi and Wa Municipalities and the Savelugu District. It was realized from the pilot that at least 5% of their activities focus on Persons with disability.

The Assemblies indicated that it is cost effective to use the platform instead of travelling to communities to reach the people for their opinions or through the town hall assembly meetings. It made it easier for marginalized groups to get information without having to rely on others like the assembly members for information. Beneficiaries also got feedback on surveys which keeps them updated on the activities of the assemblies.

The project enabled the assemblies to gather the opinions of marginalized groups on development issues at a lower cost and time.

The second phase of the MSIG will be implemented in the Central Gonja, Kumbungu, Gushegu, Tolon and Sagnarigu Districts in the Northern Region.

Participants at the workshop mentioned that challenges of distance, road accessibility, language diversity, and illiteracy, district assemblies often find it challenging to share information with citizens.

Also, most of the marginalized groups at the local level are illiterates and thus unable to write letters to newspapers or politicians or even fill in applications, or participate in a mainly paper based bureaucracy.

As a result, citizens are often unaware of what government services should be and are accessible to them. The result is that these services are under-utilized when available, and citizens are unable to hold the district accountable for their provision when they are not met.

A Program Manager at Savana Signatures, Muhammed Yakubu intimated that given the massive penetration of mobile networks, messages sent to mobile phones provide a revolutionary channel for sharing information in real-time.

“As such, MSIG will carry out mobile surveys in the local languages (voice) to seek the opinion of marginalized groups about development activities while the citizens used the Citizenship Request Dashboard (CRD) to voluntarily submit their opinions about development activities to district assemblies by simply dialling a code that would be advertised.”

Source : Ghana Facts

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