How, when & why do governments respond to citizens? The politics of accountability in Ghana

One of the most challenging issues faced by organisations using technology to support open and accountable governance is understanding just how governments work, and where the opportunities to affect change actually lie. As the tech for transparency and accountability (tech4T&A) sector has grown, so has its skill in creating new, digital communities, opening up information on governments’ activities, and organising huge public campaigns that have engaged millions across the world.

But, while information dissemination and public engagement are staples of the tech4T&A world, evidence of how this has actually created more accountable, responsive governance is scarce, and it is clear that we need to work harder to make sure lessons from non-tech governance processes are not being forgotten.

As part of the Making All Voices Count ‘When Does the State Listen?’ series, which explores the stories of four landmark social justice policy processes – health insurance in Ghana, ICTs in Kenya, welfare in South Africa and education in Tanzania – Terence Darko reports on what it took to make Ghana’s government respond to its health service crisis.



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