Ghanaians can now access documents and know the status of projects before Parliament via Whatsapp – a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows one to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.
The initiative known as “Connect Citizens to Parliament” also has an SMS short-code 9030 to which citizens can “conveniently send and receive information or make enquiries on the status(es) of ongoing projects (Assurances) in their communities.”
A statement from the project coordinators said: “Dedicated Whatsapp platforms via 0279848444 and 0241995737 have been created for citizens to interact with the committee on the status of various projects, with an opportunity to receive feedback on their inputs, queries and contributions.
“Citizens can, as well download the Ghana Government Assurances mobile app on Google play store to give greater meaning to what effective monitoring means once they can, on-the-go, access details on promised projects and the various allocations made to it.”
Penplusbytes is working with Parliament’s Committee on Government Assurances (CGA) to undertake the project. It is being funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
The project is anchored on developed and well-tested interactive digital platforms that enhance interaction between the CGA, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), citizens and other stakeholders to better track and monitor assurances, promises and undertakings made by government on the floor of Parliament.
“This project now has available various digital platforms of engagement for utilisation by citizens. A visit to the GovAssurances web-platform will reveal to users, the project’s key elements, which include the composition of the committee, showing what assurances have been made in which sector of the economy, directing citizens to various projects of their interests, which can then be tracked by them.
“Followers of the social media platforms – Government Assurances on Facebook and @govassurance on Twitter – receive, on a regular basis, information on details of various projects in addition to news about the CGA and its monitoring activities across the country.
Citizens’ inputs and feedback are an integral part of the CGA’s work and the governance process at large,” the statement said.