Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Social Intervention Programs Need Clearer Indicators

Social Intervention Programs Need Clearer Indicators

The programmes director of Penplusbytes, Jerry Sam has indicated that for the various social intervention programs such as the LEAP Programme and the Ghana School Feeding Programme to have the needed impact, there is the need for a paradigm shift.

He explains that once the focus of a social policy is on increase in enrollment numbers for instance, rather than the quality of services being provided, standards will be compromised. After a year of implementing Penplusbytes’ “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” project, citizens’ reports from the two beneficiary districts show that the implementation of the policies is flawed. For example, hot meals are not being served in some schools and LEAP benefits are insufficient for beneficiaries.

Penplusbytes in collaboration with CDD Ghana and SEND Ghana organized a one-day Social Accountability Clearing Platform Forum on August 11 to validate reports from citizens in the two project districts (Ellembelle in the Western Region and Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region).
Outlining recommendations from the reports, Jerry Sam underscored the need for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to strengthen collaboration among various stakeholders as well as ensure clear and measurable indicators for social policies. He further advised the Ministry to facilitate the coordination and networking of civil society groups working the area of social accountability.

Penplusbytes with funding support from OSIWA is implementing the 2-year “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” project, which seeks to equip ordinary citizens with usable information via online platforms mashed-up with social media and mobile based platforms (www.platformafrica.net ) to promote purposeful participation in demanding accountability and responsiveness from duty bearers for effective public service delivery.

Mr. Sam is of the view that government should facilitate the creation of such platforms for social intervention policies which would enable citizens to monitor and report on their implementation and thereby foster accountability and transparency.

He said social accountability projects were most effective when citizens were supported to understand what services they were entitled to through awareness creation.

The Forum was attended by heads of civil society organisations, state actors and donor organisations.


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Featured Member for the Month of August: Narkwor Kwabla

On air, she uses the name Narkwor Kwabla but her full name is Veronica Narkwor Kwabla, an award winning journalist currently with AfricaNews, the 24-hour African news channel of EuroNews Group broadcasting in English and French. She is a Sub Editor of the English team comprising anchors, broadcast journalists and online journalists.

Narkwor won the Health And Medical category of the CNN African journalist of the Year 2016 for coverage of stories on Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

She was a finalist in the 2015 Mohammed Amin Africa Media Awards, Best TV News Category for her story titled 'BUSH ALLOWANCE' and a recipient of the 2014 Best TV feature story award at the Ghana Journalist Awards ceremony my documentary titled: ‘BORN DIFFERENT’.

In 2013, Narkwor won the World Press Institute Fellowship to the United States. Whilst in the US she presented a paper on: Journalism in Ghana, Democracy and GMO introduction in Ghana at the Communications Department at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.

She had earlier worked with TV3 in Ghana, as a News Anchor and Reporter and Producer.  Prior to that, Narkwor was a Senior Reporter with TV Africa also in Accra and reported from the Presidency from July 2009 to July 2010.

She has covered news stories and events of national and international interest including the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government summit on Ebola, held in Accra on November 6, 2014, the presidential reception for US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s visit to Ghana in 2009, the 12th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD XII) in Accra, Ghana in 2008 and the Grand debate on 'Union Government Summit' of the African Union in Accra, Ghana in July, 2017 among others.

Narkwor is an alumnus of the Reuters Foundation and a fellow of Radio Netherlands Training Centre, RNTC, in the Netherlands. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics and Psychology from the University of Ghana.