Accra, July 20, GNA- The African Election Project (AEP) and the Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) have signed an agreement to collaborate and share information towards promoting peaceful, credible and transparent Election 2012 election
The two bodies would use the Ghana Votes Ushahidi platform (http://ghvotes2012.com)
The partnership is aimed at synchronising activities under AEP's "Enabling Peaceful, Transparent and Credible Elections in Ghana Using New Media Platform" project and GCRN's “Communities and their Community Radio Station – A Dialogic, Pro-People Approach to the 2012 Elections”.
This was contained in a release issued in Accra at the weekend by Mr Jeremiah Sam, Coordinator AEP, and copied to the Ghana News Agency.
Ushahidi which means "testimony" in Swahili was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout in 2008.
The release said the merging of the two entities in executing the project would help to reduce duplication of efforts and better serve the citizenry during the elections.
Both projects are being funded by Strengthening Transparency Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana) a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism funded by DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID.
The partnership would enable community radios under GCRN to contribute and report incidents around the elections from their various locations across the country and use information from the Ushahidi platform as content for topical discussions on their network.
It would also amplify other issues raised on the platform.
“The idea behind this collaboration is to encourage full citizen participation in the electoral process by providing them a modern, attractive, user-friendly and interactive well-structured online election platform to easily enable citizens, journalists and civil society organisations share news, audio and videos about the Ghana Elections via multiple channels including a toll-free SMS short code (prefix AEP to 1902 on all network and 7000 on MTN), email, twitter radio programmes and web forms.”
The information collected would be verified and published with a dynamic timeline that shows when and where every incident happened.
The GhanaVotes2012-ushahidi platform has been specially developed to display reports from the Electoral Commission, civil society groups and citizens on the upcoming December elections. The map would provide information about everything from security issues, polling station logistics to voter education activities.
In addition, the map would display all polling stations, which are linked to AEP poll finder application, and would also contain information on parliamentary and presidential candidates as well as political parties by constituency and regions, making the map a one-stop shop for election information.
The AEP was established in 2008 and is coordinated by the International Institute of ICT in Journalism (Penplusbytes) and covers elections using Information and Communication Technologies across the continent.
AEP have successfully covered elections in Ghana (2008), Botswana, Namibia, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Mozambique, Malawi, Togo, Niger and Liberia.
The GCRN is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit network that coordinates the activities of member community radio stations and seeks to enhance the development of participatory community radio broadcasting in Ghana.