By Laudia Sawer
Accra, Feb 17, 2017 (GNA) — Penplusbyte, a non-profit organization on has inaugurated a nine-member community monitoring group to facilitate its ‘Tech Driven Social Accountability For Results Project’ in the Ashaiman Municipality.
The two-year long project which is being funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) seeks to empower citizens to demand accountability from elected officials in public service delivery using new digital tools.
The nine-member community monitoring group is expected to draw in, activate, motivate, educate and enable residents to directly give feedback, suggestions and recommendations about the functioning of public services through active monitoring.
Miss Juliet Amoah, Strategic Director at Penplusbyte, said even though successive governments and district assemblies have formulated policies and initiated social interventions aimed at residents, objectives were often not achieved because of the lack of involvement of beneficiaries.
Miss Amoah noted that there was therefore the need to bridge the gap between residents and policy makers with the use of new digital tools which would contribute to citizens’ ability to hold government to account within the framework of political and social accountability.
She encouraged residents to use available tools such as « watsup » platforms, text messaging and e-mail to put across their ideas as well as give feedback on policies being implemented in their areas.
She gave the assurance that unlike other projects, her outfit would ensure that the Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results Projects would be fully implemented to empower citizens to demand accountability from leadership.
Mr Joshua Adams Asihene, Ashaiman Municipal Coordinating Director, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Assembly was partnering a number of organizations to ensure grassroot participation in governance.
Mr Asihene reminded residents that development was a shared responsibility therefore encouraging them to use the project to get their views across to the Assembly.
Mr Archibald Mensah, Head, Social Welfare and Community Development Department, Ashiaman Municipality, in a presentation on the Livelyhood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) project, said it was initiated in 2008 to alleviate the suffering of the very poor and vulnerable in society.
Mr Mensah added that currently a total of 57 households in Ashaiman were on the programme with beneficiaries comprising of the poor aged above 65 years, vulnerable children, disabled persons, orphans among others.
He announced that a registration programme was currently ongoing to enroll more households onto LEAP.
Miss Nuerla Sodjah, Assistant Director at ASHMA, touching on the School Feeding Programme, noted that about 6,659 pupils from 13 public schools in the Municipality were currently enjoying free food under the programme.
Miss Sodjah however added that due to the 80 pesewas per child a day being paid to caterers, the food served to the children were not nutritious.