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Journos trained on the use of new digital tools to enhance local governance in the Ashaiman Municipality

journalistsThe drive towards improving the local governance processes, alleviating poverty, promoting gender equality and strengthening institutional and technical capacity in the Ashaiman Municipality has received a major boost following the official launch of a new project “Enhancing grassroots civic participation in governance using digital tools”.

The project, funded by the Canadian Fund for local Initiative, seeks to empower citizens through digital tools to effectively participate in the local government decision making processes and promote better public service delivery especially in health, education and sanitation.

The projects seeks to promote the use existing digital tools by citizens to engage with their assembly in the comfort of their homes or work places to access information or request for one.

Through this civic engagement, it is expected that local governance processes would have improved while duty bearers and public officials would be more responsive to citizens’ needs.

 

ROLE OF MEDIA

Recognizing the role of the media as an effective watchdog in holding duty bearers account in public service delivery, Penplusbytes with funding from the Canadian Fund for local Initiative has organised a 2-day media workshop to train selected journalists from the Ashaiman/Tema area on the project.

The aim of the workshop was to equip the selected journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop compelling citizen engagement stories in their communities.

A total of 14 media practitioners within the Tema and Ashaiman corresponding for various media outlets took part in the workshop.

 

NEW DIGITAL TOOLS

The participants were schooled on how to use technology and the opportunities it provides to empower citizens in their quest to demand transparency and accountability from their local assemblies.

In his welcoming speech, the Programmes Director of Penplusbytes, Mr. Jeremiah Sam underscored his organization’s commitment in equipping journalists with skills in using new digital technologies in order to enhance traditional journalism.

He emphasized the role of new digital tools stressing that it offered creative opportunities and urged the participants to put the knowledge gained into

Practice.

 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The Programme Manager, New Media Innovations at Penplusbytes, Precious Ankomah charged the participants utilise the knowledge gained to tell stories that will compel duty bearers to change the manner in which they feel, think, and act towards the greater good of their community.

A facilitator at the workshop and programme manager for Governance and Technology at Penplusbytes, Mr. Cosmos Akorli said civic engagement aims at making a difference in our communities.

He added that it focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and promoting motivation to make that difference.

Therefore, constant information about citizens' satisfaction with service provision serves as a basis for improvement.

At the end of the session, participants were presented a certificate of participation.

 

 

Writer’s email: benjamin.glover@graphic.com.gh

@Glovben

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