There is a desire for change across the West-African sub-region where citizens are holding elected officials to account through an increasing use of technology and social media to mobilise and improve on the governance processes. At the backdrop of this movement, Penplusbytes, a leader in the use of ICT tools for good governance, is deploying new digital tools to aid duty bearers to be socially accountable.
After successfully deploying the “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” (www.platformafrica.net ) project with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in Ghana, Penplusbytes is to roll out this exciting innovative tool to Cote D’Ivoire after doing so in Benin and Togo earlier in the year.
During the 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.
“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.
From 18th to 19th December 2017, in Cote D’Ivoire’s capital of Abidjan, Penplusbytes is supporting six (6) Ivorian civil society organizations to leverage “Kakum” through a hackathon dubbed #hack4citizens which will bring together teams of solution developers and civil society actors to customize the tool 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 Cote d’Ivoire to launch a version of the tool customized to solve their peculiar problems.
Kra Yao Stéphane, a developer based in Abidjan said “I am looking forward to the hackathon challenge where I hope my team will customize the platform by Penplusbytes to make a difference in the lives of citizens to simply engage duty-bearers in the comfort of their homes using technology and breaking the barriers to good governance”
According to Jerry Sam, Programmes Director at Penplusbytes, “Kakum comes with many features such as adding new projects to the platform; visualizing citizen inputs, sending feedback directly using WhatsApp, 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.”
“It is our hope that civil society organisations working around social accountability will adopt and adapt Kakum to ensure greater change and success in their interventions,” he added.
Any user interested in using Kakum or who wants to collaborate with Penplusbytes can visithttp://kakum.readthedocs.io/
en/latest/index.html for more information and free downloads.