There is growing recognition both among governments, donors and civil society that citizens and communities have an important role to play with regards to enhancing accountability of public officials, reducing corruption and leakage of funds and improving public service delivery.

As a result, Social Accountability has become an attractive approach to both the public sector and civil society for improving governance processes, service delivery outcomes, and improving resource allocation decisions. Social Accountability is a process in which the ordinary citizen participates directly in demanding accountability and responsiveness of decision makers (government, parliament) and other groups that deliver public goods. Over the past few years, the Ministry of Local Government has been implementing a number of interventions such as the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP), Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP), Northern Poverty Reduction Project (NORPREP), Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP) and the Local Government Capacity Support Project (LGCSP) as a way of promoting social accountability.

Although, there are a number of mechanisms for ensuring citizens are empowered to participate in efficient public service delivery, including participatory expenditure, monitoring and evaluation, community score cards, social audit and public expenditure tracking, not many avenues exist, especially at the grassroots level for citizens to hold officials to account. There is also a distinct lack of state mechanisms which give impetus to social accountability interventions and help achieve responsiveness.

In view of this problem, Penplusbytes is rolling out “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” project intended to use new digital tools which will contribute to citizens’ ability to hold government to account within the framework of political and social accountability. Our proposed solution will equip citizens with usable information, methods, online and mobile based platform which will enable them to monitor health and education sector policies, indicators and programs while actively engaging duty-bearers to demand for better service delivery. Practically, our project will combine innovative digital technology mashed-up with participatory public expenditure on health and education tracking survey, relevant health and education sector policy scorecards and effective advocacy. Without provision of high quality health and education services, citizens’ aspiration to be free and enjoy the dividends of an open society will be impossible.

Intended Outcomes

The project will seek to create a culture where citizens are equipped to actively engage in policy implementation and demand accountability by increasing citizen-driven accountability mechanisms to monitor public service delivery and also empowering citizens ability to demand sanction of elected officials for poor service delivery. It will also improve the engagement frameworks between citizens and governments for purposes of effective monitoring of programmes, development and budget appropriation and decision making.