In mid-2015, VOTO Mobile, in partnership with the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), applied to Making All Voices Count for a practitioner research and learning grant.
VOTO Mobile is a Ghanaian tech company and social enterprise. One of the tools it uses is the interactive voice response (IVR) survey. This entails survey respondents being called on their mobile phone, and prompted by pre-recorded messages to respond to questions by pressing buttons on the phone; the results are stored on a database.
CDD-Ghana is a non-profit organisation focusing on good governance. It has worked with UNICEF to develop the District League Table (DLT), a tool for measuring and highlighting discrepancies in local government service delivery in different sectors.
Their research set out to examine:
- whether VOTO Mobile’s IVR methodology would be suitable for gathering data for future editions of the DLT
- how far the DLT reflected the priorities of Ghanaian citizens
- how IVR could be adapted to maximise the response rate of rural women.
This practice paper describes the research, its findings and its implications. It also reflects on the challenges facing a tech provider and a CSO in working together to develop tools for citizen engagement in local government monitoring.
- How can tech providers and CSOs work together to collect useful, cost-effective data on local government services from a citizen perspective?
- To what extent can crowdsourced citizen feedback about development priorities help make tools for monitoring local government more effective?
- How can methods for crowdsourcing citizen data engage the hardest-to-reach citizens?