One of the largest challenges for decentralized District Governments in Ghana is in gathering real-time, actionable, and accurate citizen feedback. For government administrators trying hard to improve service delivery, the first step is understanding the current situation: what services are running well? Which services need improvement? Which services and priorities are most important to citizens?
However, collecting this feedback is challenging, especially in rural districts with widely distributed populations; barriers of distance, language, literacy, education, and resource availability all contribute to the challenge of hearing citizen voices. Conversely, citizens also find it challenging to make their feedback heard in an accessible way — or, more often, are not aware of available channels for raising their democratic voice.
At the same time, mobile and information technology has exploded in usage throughout Ghana; currently there are 31.5 million mobile phone connections in active use [Feb 2015] for a population of approximately 27 million [2014 estimate]: there are more active mobile phones than people! Even in rural areas without grid electricity, most households have access to a mobile phone. This means that mobile and IT present a powerful tool for hearing and amplifying real-time citizen feedback.
The goal of the Citizen Accountability and Responsiveness Dashboard (ReportCARD) system (funded by the World Bank and implemented by SEND-GHANA) is to provide a moderated, real-time, easy-to-use service to district and national government officials which presents useful and actionable citizen feedback, while simultaneously providing citizens of Ghana with an easy, accessible forum to share this feedback.
About SEND Ghana
SEND-GHANA was established on August 4, 1998 with the maiden name Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa. The organisation has evolved into a reputable and credible national Non-Governmental Organisation with specialty in;
a) Policy research and advocacy focusing on pro-poor policy and development programme monitoring in Ghana and
b) Service delivery through the promotion of livelihoods security