Indigo has just awarded grant of £9,400.18 to Hutspace, a Ghanaian web development company, who, in collaboration with mySociety are creating a parliamentary monitoring site for Ghana. The site, Odekro, went live this weekend and we thought it best to let Emmanuel Okyere who has been leading the project to tell you what the project hopes to achieve:
“Citizens need to be empowered to demand and ensure proper representation, accountability and good service delivery. To this end, there are on-going efforts by the Trade Unions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), political activists, and Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) to ensure reforms, and it is necessary that these efforts are reinforced with social mobilization, citizen action and popular engagement in promoting transparency.
In the Akan chieftaincy hierarchy, the Odekro is the lowest sub-divisional chief responsible for ruling a town and making sure the citizens are taken care of. Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected to serve constituencies and our proposed intervention, Odekro, monitors them.
Odekro builds on existing technology from mySociety to create a national platform for promoting transparency and popular participation to keep a keen eye on public officials, especially parliament, by providing public online access to Bills, Motions, and Parliamentary debates (Hansards). In addition, it provides tools that allow discussions around these records. By providing this, we hope to mobilize citizens to discuss national issues being debated in Parliament, report issues affecting their constituencies, comment on on-going projects in their constituencies, follow the specific issues the MPs for their constituencies are contributing to in Parliament, and what they are saying, and to generally take a keen interest in how they are represented.
We also hope that MPs will take the opportunity to become more open, and engage with citizens, by answering questions asked by citizens, providing information on on-going projects and interacting generally with citizens they represent either by logging on and using the platform themselves, or designating aides to do so on their behalf.”
We really hope the site is a success – Ghanian presidential and parliamentary elections take place on December 7th and the team have done a fantastic job to get the site live in time. We believe sites like these are at their most effective during elections and it is our hope that as many Ghanians as possible use it over the next few days before they cast their vote!