The Report, titled “Mobile Application for Good Governance in Ghana: Environmental Scan and Opportunity,” explores gaps in the mobile application landscape in the area of good governance and democracy, and champions a critical position for conscious decision making in the prioritizing of the development of mobile applications for the advancement of good governance and democracy in Ghana, as well as how that catalyzes the development of critical good governance and democracy themed mobile applications for non-profits.Penplusbytes, by this paper, aims to better shape its “mobile for good governance and democracy” initiative, hosted within its New Media Hub project, funded by STAR Ghana to stimulate the development of technology applications and tools for Ghanaian non-profit organizations working in the areas of governance and accountability. This document therefore gives insight into how the project will achieve its prime objective. To achieve this, the Report makes references to the mobile development landscape/ecosystem in Ghana, what it consists of, its developers and some of the issues they address. It reviews global examples of best practices in mobile application for good governance and provides strategic guidelines within which mobile applications can contribute to good governance in Ghana.
In detail, the paper examines the motivation behind citizens’ participation in governance and reveals how an important factor the degree of happiness is. It establishes that the willingness of governments to engage its citizens in governance is an essential ingredient for development. For this to take place, however, a definitive strategy is to adopt a framework of governance that encourages participation; that recognizes its traditional forms of administration and similarly adopts a network modality as its core structure.
Explaining the background of the research paper, Penplusbytes Governance Analyst, Francisca K. Darfour, said; “the organisation’s forte in establishing credible, ICT-enabled platforms for engagement between Government on one hand, and citizens and civil society entities on the other hand as means to enhancing openness and accountability remains a key force in its quests to establish the factual levels of the application of technology in governance in Ghana and this research paper is only but one of many ways of measuring the country’s readiness for mobile technology uptake”.
An important outcome of the report which can be downloaded Here, maintains that although the growth of mobile phone subscription is indicative of a market ripe for application developers, the approach to funding would have to adapt to the needs of the market; suggesting therefore, a significant shift in current practice where the private sector funds apps development for its own gain through competitions. This among other factors limits the scope of innovation to the context for which those competitions are defined and this strangulation would stifle innovation in a vibrant market place.
Penplusbytes, therefore, hopes to explore options for an incubation project that utilizes a different approach from those projects that strictly falls into the non-profit category and is working toward an incubation system that’s functional and sustainable, having understood all the factors that make incubators succeed.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower the media through the use of Information and Communications Technology to advance journalism in the coverage of governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and mining, oil and gas.