Making All Voices Count is open for business in Africa

October 16, 2013

Making All Voices Count is a global initiative that supports innovation, scaling, and research to deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies that will enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness.

The programme flung open its doors with three ‘Open for Business’ events held in September and October in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. The events provided an excellent opportunity for techies, civil society organisations, private sector companies, government officials, researchers, and other interested parties, to find out more about the programme, its activities and the First Call for Proposals, which started September 24 and will close November 8.

During these events, Making All Voices Count staff from the implementing consortium Hivos, Ushahidi and Institute for Development Studies presented the programme set-up and responded to questions on the three grant windows: Research and Evidence, Scaling and Innovation, as well as the role of the programme in general and its hopes and ambitions over the next four years.

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Local government champion Jay Naidoo spoke in South Africa on what it means to make all voices count, and how innovation and technology can “merge the gap, helping to close the feedback loop between citizens and their elected representatives”. “We have to go back to the people…equipping them with the right tools and making sure they fight their own battles,” he urged.

In Kenya, civil society organisations working with the government were invited to join a panel discussion to discuss best practices on how to work together, where they also responded to questions about how to implement an effective programme in the region. And in Ghana, Emmanuel Ottero-Hutspace presented a case-study on open data, exploring how parliamentary information can be made more accessible to the general public. 

Making All Voices Count is supported by the U.K. Department for International Development, U.S. Agency for International Development, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Open Society Foundations and Omidyar Network. Hivos acts as lead organisation of the implementing consortium.

In this video, Making All Voices Count Programme Officer Precious Greehy speaks about Hivos, why we were attracted to this initiative and what our Scaling Up component sets out to do.