On Thursday, 25 June 2020, STAR Ghana and Penplusbytes’ organised a webinar to officially launch and deploy a COVID-19 ‘info-for-all’ website, information for all platform to address gaps in information dissemination and the sheer volume of information disorder on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana. As demonstrated during the live demonstration, the platform uses innovative digital tools to improve access to relevant COVID-19 information by all citizens and to support both government and other civil society efforts in curbing the spread of the virus and flattening the curve in Ghana. The platform has a mashed up two-way communication tools such as bots, mobile (SMS & WhatsApp) and other audiovisuals (motion graphics & infographics).
This collaborative and citizen-oriented platform is the outcome of a project aiming at filling in the existing knowledge gap about COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana and the platform will be complemented with traditional media engagement with the ultimate aim of not leaving anyone behind in accessing COVID-19 related information and the ability to provide feedback and input on how best government’s policies and interventions can be structured to respond directly to the needs of citizens.
As indicated by Teiko Sabah, Head of Programmes at STAR Ghana Foundation, the platform will “increase the effectiveness of inclusive actions by state and non-state actors towards the elimination of the COVID-19 pandemic”. This initiative is anchored in the broader civil society response to COVID-19 in Ghana and is expected to support innovative mechanisms for linking citizens’ voices with state actors for more responsive services and the key beneficiaries will be all Ghanaian citizens, with a specific focus on vulnerable persons (persons with disabilities, women, the aged), rural populations and young persons. Penplusbytes expressed their openness to feedback from users and to partnerships with other civil society actors or government institutions to increase its social impact and sustainability beyond COVID-19. Participants have highly welcomed this initiative, as the access to accurate, timely and reliable information by all persons will be a key panacea to adhering to government directives and guidelines by health officials to help curtail the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.
Link to the platform: www.covid19infogh.org