Action Voices is an initiative of Advocacy and Media Support Foundation (AMSF) and NGO. The project was successfully piloted project in La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality in Greater Accra in 2016; funded by Making All Voices Count, an international Organization. AMSF has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Association of Local Authorities to scale up the project progressively in all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in Ghana.
WHY ACTION VOICES?
Ghana’s legal provisions guarantee citizen participation in the decision-making; emphasizing on active and popular participation of citizens in the sub-district structures. The constitution further guarantees citizens the right to express themselves freely without any restrictions and to contribute to the well-being of one’s community. Regrettably, citizen participation at the local level is low for various factors; key among them are effective communication systems for citizen engagement, citizens’ apathy towards activities of Local Authorities among others; and this is affecting Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the Districts to carry out development projects.It is to strengthen Ghana’s legal and policy framework for citizen participation and engagement to improve citizen-government partnership and help local authorities to improve revenue mobilization that the Action Voices was initiated in partnership with the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS).
To become a leading Organization championing citizens' participation in local governance to deepen Citizen-Government partnership.
We amplify citizens' voice on public service delivery and facilitate citizen-government engagement through ICT-mediated solutions.
LOCALIZING AND ACHIEVING THE SDGs THROUGH ICT- SOLUTIONS
The Action Voices project will play a facilitating role in localizing and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through cross-cutting ICT platforms. The project adopts a Toll-free service, Bulk SMS, Voice Blast, IVR, USSD and Web platforms to enhance citizen-government engagement and quick dissemination of emergency information such as disaster, disease outbreak and other relevant information to citizens. The project seeks among others to reduce gender inequality by increasing women access to information and participation in decision-making at the district level. It empowers women in particular to gain stronger voice to complain about poor social services delivery in their communities and demand accountability; thus addressing SDGs 5.
Our innovative ICT platforms help reduce inequality by providing opportunities for access to information and knowledge. We share relevant segmented information through Bulk SMS and Bulk Voice messaging in local languages.
Also we disseminate relevant information on our Social Media and Web platforms to educate and inform citizens particularly disadvantage women and marginalized groups on their rights and responsibilities; thus addressing SDGs10.
The project has developed online portal to collect data and share relevant information about District Assemblies and has also develop online District Forums for real time interaction between citizens and District functionaries to promote open governance and to deepen local level democracy. It empowers women, youth and the marginalized in particular to ask critical questions and to demand transparency and accountability from local authorities. Our ICT-platforms capture demographic data, monitor citizens’ complaints and feedback from local authorities; while tracking and analyzing the data to inform policy and advocacy initiatives; thus addressing SDGs 16.
Action Voices also seeks to build strong partnerships with Local Authorities in Ghana and interested stakeholders to help conceptualize and localize the SDGs. The project will highlight the innovative and transformative potential of ICTs by supporting District Assemblies to develop ICT solutions towards achieving each of the SDGs including solutions that will help block revenue leakages to improving their Internally Generation Fund (IGF), promote social inclusion and environmental sustainability. More importantly, Action Voices developing ICT systems to promote interconnectedness of Local Authorities in Ghana to promote and share best practices, information, build partnerships and pool resources to together to address common challenges of Local Authorities; thus addressing SDGs 17.