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Regional News of Friday, 5 June 2015

Source: GNA

TransGov wins Tech4Governance competition

TransGov, a web and mobile application that aggregates development projects being undertaken to facilitate public monitoring locally and nationally, won the Tech4Governance Innovation competition, organised by Penplusbytes and Making All Voices Count (MAVC).

TransGov, beat off stiff contest from 10 others to win the competition on Saturday May 30 at the New Media Hub, Osu, Ako-Adjei, Accra, on the theme: “Innovations to Drive Improved Service Delivery and Better Electoral Process,”

The Tech4Governance competition received more than 40 entries from the tech and development space in Ghana.

The panel of judges were made up of Dorothy Gordon, Director – General, Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, Nicholas De-Heer, Senior Programmes Officer, Institute of Economic Affairs, Veronica Boateng, National Information Technology Agency, Kinna Likimani, Blogging Ghana, and Patricia Dovi Sampson, Director of Research, Statistics and Information at the Ministry of Communications.

Ms Gordon expressed delight at what she termed the infectious enthusiasm exhibited by all the teams; describing the outcome of the event as “uplifting”.

“Some of the other projects are equally excellent and I am hopeful we are going to see some develop into fully functional product for wider use,” she added.

The winning team, represented by Prince Anim and Kwame Yeboah, submitted Transgov under the “Improve Service Delivery” theme, which is primarily an SMS application to which people could subscribe to via a short code.

Subscribers would then, via the assigned short codes and with names of specific districts of interest, be periodically updated on development activities, including project bidding, project execution and meeting times of the assembly.

“Macheki” - Interactive Voter Identity and Verification System took the second place under the “Bettering Electoral process” theme.

It is a web and mobile based application that displays real time demographics of voters and also makes provision for verification of voters.

Richard Abbey, a member of the Macheki team explained that the product would allow voters to verify their details lodged with the Electoral Commission on an interactive mobile and web based application.

“Our product will also allow, on that same platform, policy makers and other social activists, an ability to see a breakdown of registered voters using their demographics - age, sex, educational background etc,” he added.

Other entries were “Open Voter Verifiability and Audit Platform, Eyes-in-the-Air (Media Drones), “Election Monitor and RegVote”; pitching ideas carved to solve problems in the Ghanaian electoral process.

The rest targeted to improve service delivery, on the themes: “ Empowering Ghana through Mobile Cloud Data,” “Resident Watch,” “Making All Voices Matter (VOTO Mobile),” “Know Your Payments and The Big Idea: A model for Youth-led Accountability.”

The winners would go through an incubation phase where they would be supported with access to mentoring support, international networking and related tools and resources through MAVC’s South to South Lab.

Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to empower the media through the use of ICT to advance journalism in the coverage of governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and mining, oil and gas.

MAVC is an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia.

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