The Mobile for Social Inclusive Governance (MSIG) Project seeks to provide an opportunity for women, youth and people with disability to participate in local governance by providing an effective communication pathway for them to communicate with the local assemblies. The project also provides Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies an opportunity to use a mobile based platform called the Citizens Interactive Platform (CIP) to facilitate communication with their citizens. The overall outcome of the project aims to increase the participation of women, youth and PWDs in local governance, especially in the provision of public goods and services.
Component 1 of the Mobile for Social Inclusive Governance (MSIG) project would empower the district Planning and Coordinating Unit (i.e.: the Planner, Finance, Budget officers and Director) as well as MPs and district executives to share information with hundreds or thousands of key community members (nodal members) through a functioning mobile platform and radio. This information could entail announcements of local meetings, reminders of health services like polio vaccinations, emergency alerts, and long-term civic education topics delivered to marginalized groups in text and voice. It could also be used to provide accountability updates on projects initiated by the district (for example, that new public toilets have been completed and are now open) as well as revenue collected via Internally Generated Funds). The outcome of this information would be more informed community members, who are now able to access services, as well as understand when to hold the district to account.
The second component of the MSIG project would empower District Assemblies and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to build a panel of thousands of diverse constituents and “thought leaders” throughout the district, and then use voice and SMS polls to solicit input from them on a recurring longitudinal basis. The outcome is that the district receives both anonymous feedbacks on past projects, as well as critical guidance for future work, ultimately resulting in more aligned decisions. Another outcome is for polled citizens to realize that they have both a right and a method to hold their government accountable. This would connect citizens (marginalized groups) to policy makers through the instrument mobile phone to interact easily at a distance there by enhancing their participation in local governance. This would further help to eliminate the challenge of distance and status which often makes it difficult for these groups to participate in town hall meetings organised in big towns. Through the project District Assemblies’ capacity would be developed to conduct mobile surveys with marginalized groups about development issues in their localities. District Assemblies would also be supported with capacity development on how to design, conduct and gather information from the mobile platform on surveys conducted or unsolicited opinions submitted by marginalized groups.