Crowdsourcing citizen feedback on district development in Ghana using interactive voice response surveys

Crowdsourcing citizen feedback on district development in Ghana using interactive voice response surveys

VOTO Mobile is a Ghanaian tech company and social enterprise. One of the tools it uses is the interactive voice response (IVR) survey. This entails survey respondents being called on their mobile phone and prompted by pre-recorded messages to respond to questions by pressing buttons on the phone. The results are stored on a database.

This practice paper describes research carried out by VOTO Mobile, a Ghanaian tech company and social enterprise, and CDD-Ghana, a non-profit organisation focusing on good governance. VOTO Mobile uses an interactive voice response (IVR) survey tool in its work, while CDD-Ghana has engaged with the United Nations Children’s Fund to develop the District League Table (DLT), a tool for measuring and highlighting discrepancies in local government service delivery in different sectors. Their research set out to examine: whether VOTO Mobile’s IVR methodology would be suitable for gathering data for future editions of the DLT; how far the DLT reflected the priorities of Ghanaian citizens; and how IVR could be adapted to maximise the response rate of rural women. The practice paper presents the findings and implications of the research, as well as reflecting on the challenges facing a tech provider and a civil society organisation in working together to develop tools for citizen engagement in local government monitoring.

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