Monday, February 06, 2017

Penplusbytes Engages Community Members on “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” project

In a bid to empower citizens to demand accountability from elected officials in public service delivery using new digital tools, Penplusbytes with funding from the Open Society lnitiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is delivering the 2-year “Tech Driven Social Accountability for Results” project.

Social accountability under this project is defined as a process in which the ordinary citizen participates directly in demanding accountability and responsiveness of decision makers: Government (local, district and national); Parliament; and other groups that deliver public goods and services.

There are a number of mechanisms for ensuring citizens are empowered to participate in efficient public service delivery, albeit inadequate, especially with the use of ICTs at the grassroots level.
Evidence suggests ICTs can create a cost effective and efficient interface to engage multiple stakeholders, including social intermediaries, interest groups, citizens and even governments to demand greater accountability especially in service delivery.

According to the executive director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, “Our proposed solution to this problem is to equip citizens with usable information, methods, online and mobile based platform which will enable them to monitor health and education sector policies, indicators and programs while actively engaging duty-bearers to demand for better service delivery. It will also ensure that citizens hold public officials to account pushing them to deliver high quality public goods and services.”

The project will be focusing on three government social intervention programs which are the Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW), the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) and the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP).

As part of project activities, 9-member community monitoring groups have been formed in the two project districts, Ellembele District in the Western region and Ashaiman Municipality in the Greater Accra Region.

On Thursday February 9th, the Project’s implementation team will engage citizens in the Ellembele District where a Community Monitoring Group will be inaugurated in Nkroful, the district capital.

The Community-based Monitoring approach is centered on drawing in, activating, motivating, educating and enabling community members to directly give feedback, suggestions and recommendations about the functioning of public services through active monitoring.

Emphasis will be laid on the developmental spirit of participatory monitoring, and ‘feedback for improvement’ rather than ‘fault finding'. Their core mandate would be to monitor delivery of the three government policies in their districts and report which would be transmitted to program managers and policy makers both at local and national levels.

The project has a long term objective to create a culture where citizens are equipped to actively engage in policy implementation and demand accountability.

About Penplusbytes
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and enhancing media oversight for effective utilization of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.

The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is active in 10 countries in the region (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone) and focuses on law, justice and human rights, and economic and political governance. The initiative pursues the development of open societies by supporting and building partnerships with local and regional groups that promote inclusive democratic governance, transparency and accountability, and active citizenship.

Friday, February 03, 2017

OPPORTUNITY: Media Capacity Development Officer

About us
The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. We do this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis and capacity development. We work with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries. For more information, please see
Funded by philanthropic organizations and national governments, we are headquartered in New York City with further offices in Accra, Beirut, Jakarta, Lima and London, and staff presence in Bolivia, Cameroon, DRC, Guinea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Tunisia.
The Media Capacity Development Officer will implement, monitor and promote our approaches to addressing the diverse and increasingly advanced needs of the media.
NRGI believes that a vibrant, scrutinizing media is essential in giving the public the information and voice it needs to demand the transparency and accountability necessary for good use of natural resource wealth. NRGI runs multiple short and long-term media capacity development programs, directly and through partners, in Ghana, Myanmar, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda, among other countries. We also provide technical advice and financial support to media houses in other countries such as Colombia, Indonesia and Peru. Learning from these programs, NRGI is poised to embark on a revised media capacity building strategy that will respond to lessons from earlier engagement and seek to alter programs to respond to the changing role of journalists.
Working closely with NRGI staff and partners in each country, the Media Capacity Development Officer will seek to draw lessons to inform the global strategy while tailoring programs to the context in each country. Leaning on NRGI’s strong network of advisors, Media Capacity Development Officer will continuously improve the program with best practices from capacity development and journalistic practices. The Media Capacity Development Officer will also have the opportunity to communicate with donors about the program’s impact.
The Media Capacity Development Officer will be responsible for the following:
Advise on the Implementation of Media Capacity Development Programs:
  • Support local staff and, where relevant, local partners on the design and implementation of:
    • selection process to identify participants
    • needs assessments and training curriculum
    • mentoring program
    • financial support mechanisms
  • Lead or co-lead (with country staff) the development of innovative approaches, with a view to generating lessons and models for replication in other contexts
  • Track progress of work with media across NRGI programs and provide inputs as necessary
  • Ensure effective financial management of the project and reporting to donors
Facilitate Global Learning on Media Capacity Development Approaches
  • Ensure monitoring and evaluation approach is implemented, including tracking and analysis of media coverage, with increasing ownership by local staff and/or partners
  • Ensure project learning and impact is effectively documented and communicated to key audiences, including between projects, using traditional and new media and tools
  • Ensure good ongoing communication and coordination with other agencies involved in capacity building of media (especially related to economics, governance and extractives) —nationally, regionally and internationally
  • Integrate program learning into strategy, donor proposals and annual project planning
  • Build contacts and lever the project to develop and sustain the NRGI media program
  • Represent NRGI externally at meetings, conferences, with donors, etc.
  • Undertake other tasks as required by management
  • At least 5 years’ experience running and managing capacity building projects in an international development and advocacy environment—including relationship management and capacity building of local partners, monitoring and evaluation, financial management
  • Personal commitment to improving the use of, and accountability for, public resources
  • Skills in effective documentation and communication of project progress and learning
  • Ability to combine attention to detail while driving toward the overall goals of a program
  • Ability to manage several simultaneous projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work in a self-motivated manner, with management support from a distance
  • Collegiate working style with superior interpersonal, writing, and organizational skills
  • Ability to use all key Microsoft Office software
  • Willingness to travel (at least once per quarter) and experience working and traveling internationally
Strongly preferred
  • Experience in adult learning and teaching/teacher training
  • Demonstrable understanding of the media in one or more of NRGI countries of work (key players, constraints, opportunities) and how it can be strengthened is a plus
  • Familiarity with big data analysis tools
  • Familiarity with common policy responses to natural resource governance challenges.
  • Post-graduate degree in a relevant field (media, political science, economics, international affairs)
  • Fluency in at least one additional language to English, preferably French or Spanish
Location: The appointee will preferably be based in London or New York, but other NRGI office locations may be considered. Willingness and ability to undertake international travel is essential, as is having the legal ability to work in the location where based.
Start Date: March 2017
Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical, dental, work travel insurance, life and disability insurance, private pension scheme, 20 annual leave days plus all public holidays.
To Apply: Please email resume, cover letter, and references before February 10, 2017, to Include Media Capacity Development Officer in the subject line.
Candidates must possess the right to work in the United Kingdom or the United States.
We will review applications on a rolling basis and we will only contact those applicants whose background and prior experience appear to be most suited to this particular position.
No phone calls, please. NRGI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.