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Bold Ideas to Transform Citizen-Government Relationships

News | March 18, 2014

Ten innovators, with ideas set for Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Ghana, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, have emerged as the finalists of the Global Innovation Competition and will compete for a 65,000 GBP grant at the Global Innovation Week from March 31 – April 4, 2014 in Kenya.

Making All Voices Count, a global initiative aimed at stimulating innovation to improve government performance and accountability, launched the Global Innovation Competition at the Open Government Partnership Summit in November, 2013.

Woman with a mega phone makes her voice heard

Citizens make their voices heard

The competition sparked nearly 200 entries and has since involved a unique process of public voting and peer review. Chair of the Jury, Dr. Sheila Ochugboju:

The quality of entries is high and the diverse range of expertise is really encouraging. I’m thrilled many of the ideas are well tested, either directly or within the context of other work conducted by the entrants already.

We can see people are becoming empowered by Gandhi’s vision of becoming the change we want to see in the world!

Today, after an intensive peer and Global Innovation Jury review, the finalists are announced.

Innovations entering the final-round include:

  • A digital payment system in South Africa that rewards citizens who participate in activities such as waste separation and community gardening. Citizens are able to ‘spend’ rewards on airtime, pre-paid electricity and groceries. By rewarding social volunteers the project aims to boost citizen engagement, build trust and establish the link between government and citizen actors.
  • A Geographic Information System that provides Indonesian citizens with information related to government-funded projects. Information such as location, allocated money, purpose of project and set duration allows citizens to compare the project’s intended aim with its real world implementation.
  • An app created by a team of software developers to provide Ghanaian citizens with information about the oil and gas industry, with the aim of raising awareness of the revenue generated and to spark debate about how this could be used to improve national development.
  • A ‘watchdog’ newsletter in Kenya focusing on monitoring the actions of officials with the aim of educating, empowering and motivating citizens to hold their leaders to account.

Below, all finalists are listed, along with their country of implementation and area of focus:

1.              Reducing Maternal Mortality with SMS. Indonesia. Citizen Engagement.

2.              Bahawalpur Service Delivery Unit (BSDU). Pakistan. Citizen Engagement.

3.              ORBIT. Indonesia. Budget Transparency

4.              GEM – Going the Extra Mile. South Africa. Citizen Engagement.

5.              CitizenEYEGhana. Access to Information

6.              Ghana Petrol Watch. Ghana. Access to Information

7.              Citizen Engagement to Implement Election ManifestoBangladesh.

Wildcards, selected by the Global Innovation Jury:

8.             Children Engagement for Government AccountabilityTanazania.

9.             The Mandera TimesKenya.  Access to Information.

10.           Taking Citizen Desk to Level 2.0. Mozambique.  Citizen Engagement.

The competition will conclude with the Global Innovation Week held March 31 – April 4, 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya – an invaluable networking and mentoring opportunity in which all ideas will be tested, refined and further developed. Innovation Programme Manager Mathias Antonsson says:

Mentors from areas such as open data, technology, business, communications, gender equality and government engagement will work with our finalists to build capacity, strengthen their vision and offer any assistance they might need.

Finalists will spend the entire first two days with these mentors, before the third day, where they’ll be put to the test solving practical problems together with the jury. On the final day, they’ll be preparing their pitches for the Global Innovation Gala.

At the Global Innovation Gala, April 3, 2014, the Global Innovation Jury will announce the competition’s winners. This event will be livestreamed and the hashtag #MAVCGIC will be used to document the week on social media.

The first-place winner will receive a Global Innovation Grant of 65,000 GBP plus expert mentorship. Two runner-ups will each receive a grant of 35,000 GBP and the seven remaining contestants will be awarded a 5,000 GBP prize.