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Politics of Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Source: GNA

VOTO develops mobile technology to enhance grassroots participation in governance

VOTO Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, has developed an interactive mobile phone technology that will facilitate a feedback loop between grassroot citizens and decision makers as well as transform governance.

The aim of the technology is to aid corporate accountability in Ghana whiles at the same time provide a platform for the voiceless and the under-served to be heard and to influence and affect policy decisions, a release issued by Penplusbyte, International Institute of ICT Journalism said on Monday.

Louis Dorval, The Founder of VOTO, said VOTO envisions a world where the perspective of the marginalized was captured and valued by politicians and aid practitioners.

"Our technology will collect the voices of Ghanaians from across the country through their cellphones, provide compensation for their voice via phone credit, verify the validity of their responses through cross-checking, and provide visually compelling results to our distribution partners in the popular news media." he added.

"VOTO is truly innovative because instead of calling people at random, we will create a panel of 10,000 Ghanaians which we will poll regularly. This will allow us to accumulate an in-depth profile of these individuals and identify subtle trends associated with specific demographic groups."

The release said during the upcoming elections, VOTO Ghana would collaborate with Penplusbytes (www.penplusbytes.org) to deploy the technology through a polling system with poll questions based on the general concerns of the electorates and also promises made in political parties’ manifestoes.

The results from the poll would be made available to the media to enable them to focus on issue-based content rather than personality attacks; and also to civil society organisations to strengthen their advocacy work in ensuring the country goes through peaceful elections whiles at the same time upholding the tenets of democracy.

The first VOTO survey is expected to be distributed by next week, and the results would be available within a fortnight.**

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