Just over a year ago we announced a grant to the Ghanaian organisation, Hutspace, to produce Ghana’s first parliamentary monitoring website, Odekro. Working in conjunction with mySociety, Hutspace launched the site just ahead of last year’s election. Despite a peak in page views around the election, usage of the site has been comparatively low. Recognising this, Odekro have worked on a marketing plan to boost awareness and usage of the site by citizens. We are delighted to have awarded them a grant of £5,059 towards the costs of this work, which will include production of distribution of promotional materials, online advertising, a social media campaign and endorsements from MPs and media organisations. The team have recently signed an MoU with the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) regarding the Ghana Open Data Initiative. Such moves are giving Odekro some much needed publicity and helping raise awareness of the impact and value of open data and open government in the country.
Marketing and promotion is one of the most difficult challenges that we and our grantees face. It requires a particular skills set that is often quite different from those needed in the NGO or tech development worlds. Being a good coder or citizen activist, doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to get your work featured in the media or that you are experts at mobile and internet advertising. We’re keen to learn what works best in this space and what doesn’t, so if you have any suggestions, tips or advice please let us know.