When it’s time for elections, politicians woo us with sweet words that paint a picture of heaven in Ghana if they are given the nod.
So during elections, we (the citizens) go to the polls ignoring all inconveniences that come with standing in long queues mostly under the scorch of the sun just to exercise our franchise.
When we finally get them to power, it’s like they forget all about the promises and stop listening to us. Most at times, we are kept in the dark when it comes to the implementation of government policies and this has led to a lot of corruption in local governance which have stifled our development as a nation.
The local government was created in Ghana so that Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) will serve as agents of local development. The local government as enshrined in the constitution is suppose to engage citizens in projects that affect them but this is not so as there are low participation and involvement.
Developmental projects are even started in communities without asking members if the projects form part of what the community needs. Without a freedom of information law, along with a lack of legal obligation to proactively publish information, citizens are not able to access vital information to uncover improprieties in the administration of their local areas. There are also no platforms to allow citizens to take part in decision making in their local communities.
A tech start-up, Transgov Ghana has taken it upon themselves to solve this problem by filling the information gap that exists between the “men at the top” (the government) and the citizens.
Started in 2015, the 2-year-old company is fully funded by grants from Making All Voices Count and is non-partisan.
They currently work with partners such as the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), and Ushahidi, Making All Voices Count, Open Knowledge International, Ghana Open Data Initiative, Hivos and Ghana Water Company Limited.
How TransGov Ghana Works
Through the TransGov Ghana innovation which consists of a web app, mobile app, SMS and Interactive Voice Response, citizens can monitor and comment on projects in their local communities and TransGov Ghana will forward such comments to the duty-bearers.
Information such as budget on completed and ongoing projects are provided.
The team collects and analyzes government projects and delivery of services and share that information with the public in simple language such that we are all able to understand.
Also, the Transgov app allows citizens to report non-emergency community problems such as potholes, burst/leaking pipes, and waste management problems among others.
Let’s all join hands to support TransGov by using their technology to report updates on government projects in our communities. We are taxpayers and is our right to make sure our monies are being used prudently.
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