Penplusbytes Rolls out Social Accountability Tools (Kakum) in West Africa
After successfully deploying “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” www.platformafrica.net project powered by Kakum in Ghana, Penplusbytes is rolling out this exciting innovative tool in West Africa starting in Benin and Togo.
During project implementation in Ghana, Penplusbytes used Kakum to monitor two national policies (Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) and the Ghana School Feeding Project) creating pathways for citizens to track its implementation for better results.
From 27th to 28th September 2017, in Benin’s capital of Contonu, Penplusbytes is supporting 3 Béninoise civil society organizations to leverage Kakum through a hackathon #hack4citizens which will bring together teams of solution developers and civil society actors to customize Kakum to respond to peculiar needs of activists working in social interventions projects.
The main goal of #hack4citizens is to build on lessons learnt in Ghana while creating an innovative space to connect CSOs who are going to use Kakum in Benin to launch a version of Kakum customized to solve their peculiar problems. For example during Penplusbytes implementation of Kakum, the project supported timely input and processing of Ghana School Feeding Programme policy feedback from citizens which enabled corrective action to be undertaken when there was an issue with quality of food served to school children.
“We are elated about the opportunity to use Kakum,” Joell Atayi-Guedegbe, the head of “Nouvelle Ethique” (civil society) said, “without strong public opinion, there will be no democracy, we have to work more to awaken our consciences. The project and Penplusbytes rollout of Kakum in West Africa is coming at a good time since it will help us achieve our goals.”
Kakum is an open source citizens monitoring tool designed to help civil society and citizens to monitor the implementation of social interventions policies thereby ensuring better policy implementation and results.
Kakum comes with many features such as adding new projects to the platform; filter and categorize various issues; rate policies and provide citizens the opportunity to give feedback and raise issues on policies being tracked. It has the added feature of sending alerts to duty-bearers and also providing feedback to citizens on issues they had queried.
Any user interested in using Kakum or wants to collaborate with Penplusbytes can visit http://kakum.readthedocs.io/en/latest/index.html for more information and free downloads.
According to the executive director of Penplusbytes Kwami Ahiabenu II, “we are excited that we able to reach a number of West Africa countries with our innovations aimed at providing citizens with tools they need to monitor for delivery key public services . This is important because it contributes to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well”.
Over the next couple of months, Penplusbytes is expected to rollout out the adaptation and replication of Kakum in two (2) other West African countries after Benin supporting civil society organisations working around social accountability with an appropriate tool to ensure greater change and success in their interventions.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and enhancing media oversight for effective utilization of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is active in 10 countries in the region (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone) and focuses on law, justice and human rights, and economic and political governance. The initiative pursues the development of open societies by supporting and building partnerships with local and regional groups that promote inclusive democratic governance, transparency and accountability, and active citizenship.