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Opening up budgeting processes by SMS and Community Radio

Savana Signatures

“We have a mission to information, knowledge and skills for development are enhanced by equal access to and use of ICT” — Savana Signatures


Ghana’s score for public participation in the 2015 Open Budget Index

Start date
October 2015
End date
September 2016
Period: 12 months


How do we make sure that everyone has the opportunity to have their say in how public money is spent? In Tamale, Northern Ghana, local government authorities are trying to open up their budgeting process and involve voices from their region, but in practice this remains restricted to public engagement at town hall meetings, where the budget is discussed.

Meetings like these are useful, but they limit access to those who live near the town hall locations, who can take the time away from work or family commitments, and who feel confident in speaking out in public, meaning that the public participation in the budgeting process still excludes the majority of ordinary people.


Savana Signatures wants to increase the participation of citizens in their local government’s project planning and budgeting processes, making sure as many people as possible have a say in how budgets are spent and their needs are reflected in development plans.

Working alongside the government the team are adding an SMS service to the government’s consultation platforms, as well as providing an Interactive Voice Response for people who might not be able to text and working with community radio to ensure that discussions about the budget become part of wider public debate.


Savana Signatures is a not for profit organization based in Tamale, Northern Ghana, with a mission to equip youth, women and vulnerable groups with ICT skills for personal and professional development.