Almost anybody with a website wants to know how to get more views and users. This is as true of the charitable sector as it is of the commercial sector. In the same way that Apple or Microsoft want to drive more people to their websites to increase brand recognition or market their latest offering, so charities and not-for-profits want to reach more people with their message, inform them of their work and gain recognition. But while it might be relatively easy to get people to click on an ad for the new iPhone, it’s another matter entirely to convince people to spend time looking into parliamentary proceedings or MP records. But that’s what Parliamentary Monitoring Group – our South African PMO grantee – is trying to do and we’re delighted to be able to support their efforts with a £20,000 grant.
Together with mySociety, PMG have developed People’s Assembly – a brilliant and informative site for anyone interested in the South African parliament. With features like a rep locator, bill tracker and access to South African Hansard records, People’s Assembly contains a wealth of information on what South Africa’s elected politicians do (or do not do, as the case may be). Now that the site has been up and running for a while, everyone involved believes that the time is right to push this content and to get more people to use it. Over the coming months, PMG will be implementing a number of changes to the website in the form of video material, increased social media engagement, Google AdWords and updated information. The hope is that more people will start to use these resources and will take a greater interest in what happens in parliament. Ultimately, PMG aim to provide people with the tools they need to become more active and interested in politics and feel empowered to hold their representatives to account.