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The Voices for Peace, a non-governmental organisation established in Ghana, conducted a research campaign ahead of the presidential, democratic elections in December of 2020. The campaign was created to measure the community’s perspective of peace before the elections as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic and to share the findings with local stakeholders.

Shifting focus away from political agendas, violence and crime as a common narrative during the election season, the campaign instead aimed at increasing community participation with conversations around Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Asking questions to the community and identifying people’s security and social needs, The Voices for Peace also learned more about the public’s experience and needs like better digital infrastructure, increased access to public service information and community data as well as community support systems for youth inclusion. The collected data lays the groundwork for taking the right measures to make citizens feel safer in their hometowns and included in local decision-making.

In an effort to amplify citizens’ voices and bridge the gap between citizens and the government, these results were communicated to the national media in Ghana and presented in a community forum with stakeholders from the local police, mayor’s office, National Peace Council, Ghana Journalist Association, and local chiefs. The forum gave young adults the opportunity to learn more about the governance process by engaging in dialogues with officials and other community members.

The Voices for Peace also invited entrepreneurs from the United States and Europe, international justice lawyers and representatives from the Institute for Accountability in the Digital Age based in the Netherlands to gather local and international partners at one table. Together, they discussed the relation between peace, technology and partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are excited to be part of this amazing project, headed by IoTeedom – US. It uses SDGs and digital solutions to address the need to create decent work, economic growth and sustainable cities,”

says Musah Inuwa, the founder and CEO of Confluent Media, a media, marketing and research company in Ghana, which co-founded The Voices for Peace together with IoTeedom.

“Working alongside Confluent Media, has inspired us to see how empowered a community becomes when they work together toward a common vision. Providing data has helped the citizens to better understand not only their own safety and security, and also take pride in understanding their communities. This is the ultimate impact where we are able to observe the shared responsibility, safety and well-being of our fellow community members from different walks of life discussing peacefully together. This campaign provided a safe space for this discussion among others in Ghana,” added Brianna Cook the founder and CEO of Ioteedom.

The campaign shows that collecting and sharing data on citizens’ needs and perspectives of security has the power to engage peaceful dialogues between all members of society in Ghana.

“My dream is that in the next elections in 2024, we will be able to go to the voting centres and to count the votes without the presence of police to protect citizens”, police commander Buah stressed in his speech at the event.


Photos (carousel): Jonathan Odhong, Africa Rising, 2. Kate-Holt-JHPIEGO-MCSP

Learn more about The Voices for Peace, Confluent Media and Ioteedom.

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