CMAC/PDA LAUNCH GOVERNMENT SERVICES ACCOUNTABILITY APP (GSAAPP)
On Thursday, February 27, 2020, the Citizen’s Movement against Corruption (CMaC) in partnership with Participatory Development Associates (PDA) launched the Government Services Accountability App (GSAAPP), a mobile application designed to receive feedback on the services of state agencies in order to help improve service delivery of public sector agencies in Ghana. The development and deployment of the mobile app forms part of the Public Sector Watch Initiative, a social accountability project initiated by the Citizen Movement against Corruption (CMaC) in collaboration with Participatory Development Associates (PDA) with funding from STAR Ghana. The objective of the initiative is to improve service delivery, accountability and responsiveness of targeted public sector agencies through feedback and improved stakeholder participation. The event, held at the premises of British Council in Accra, witnessed addresses from CMaC, PDA, IT Consortium, as well as a demonstration by Roots Digital, developers of the mobile app.
In his welcome address Mr Edem Senanu, Co-chair of CMaC expressed his optimism for the effective use of the app by public sector agencies, as part of measures to create opportunities to give feedback to government. Zayan Imoro delivered a statement on behalf of Edem Agbe, the Managing Director of PDA. Mr. Imoro expressed PDA’s delight in being part of the initiative and noted that as a social development organization concerned about getting state agencies to function to the best of their capacities, PDA will do its best to contribute to the success of the initiative. He entreated citizens to make use of this platform and provide feedback anytime they engage the services of public sector agencies.
On his part, Mr Franklin Eleblu of IT Consortium (ITC) stated that the company’s ideals of promoting accountability and ensuring integrity – the same ideals that underpin the PSWI – ignited their interest to serve as managers for the development of the mobile app. He further noted that in pursuit of this agenda, a hackathon was organized for IT startups and a winner was selected to produce the app, while ITC supervised the production processes. He concluded by encouraging citizens to take advantage of this opportunity and provide feedback necessary for improving the services of the agencies they engage.
The event also featured a presentation on the GSAApp delivered by Mr Kingsley Amponsah, the Operations Officer of Root Digital. He first took participants through the interface of the app, after which a demonstration was done on how to use the platform to rate and give feedback based on one’s experience soliciting services of public sector agencies. He also emphasized that the app is a “location-based platform that allows individual users to have access to all the branches within their locations”. In his response to a question on anonymity, Mr Amponsah stated that the platform ensures optimum anonymity of users, however, for the purpose of providing feedback on a particular issue, service users may have to input their contact details for easy reach. Mr Edem Senanu officially launched the GSAApp after the demonstration. He asked members of the audience to download the app and attempt to provide feedback. Many in the audience obliged and the project team assisted some in navigating the app.
The two-hour event ended with closing remarks delivered by Mr Edem Senanu who expressed his heartfelt appreciation to STAR Ghana for allocating funds to execute this project; and to IT Consortium for supervising the production of the App.
About the Public Sector Watch Initiative
The Public Sector Watch Initiative PSWI is a social accountability project initiated by the Citizen Movement against Corruption (CMaC) in collaboration with Participatory Development Associates (PDA) with funding from STAR Ghana. The objective of the initiative is to improve service delivery, accountability and responsiveness of targeted public sector agencies through diagonal accountability- the fusion of vertical and horizontal oversight approaches that allow direct citizen engagement with key state agencies in an attempt to enhance institutional performance. In contrast to a tactical social accountability approach reliant on access to information as a catalyst for collective action, this project adopts a strategic approach that coordinates citizens voice through digital reporting and stakeholder engagements with the relevant state agencies.
Report by Peter Annor Mensah