The Good Financial Governance in Africa programme promotes transparency and accountability in public financial management and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). Its objective is to foster Good Financial Governance in Africa, more specifically to equip decision-makers in African public finance to use region-specific services, products and further education to improve financial governance.
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On 21st May 2019, the Ghana Audit Service (GAS) launched the CITIZENEYE app, the first mobile application in Africa that allows citizens to report public service delivery issues to the Auditor General. The auspicious occasion was attended by various government and non-governmental representatives, interested to know more about the app.
The CITIZENSEYE app was developed in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Good Financial Governance in Africa regional programme and the English-speaking African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E). The objective of the CITIZENEYE App is to enable the GAS to collect and analyse data that will feed into the planning and execution of public service audits in Ghana. The CITIZENSEYE app was developed as part of GIZ’s 2017 Innovation fund, an experimental approach to foster digital innovation, which was taken up by the GFG in Africa programme.
The Deputy Auditor-General, Mrs. Roberta Appiah-Assiamah delivered the opening speech on behalf of Auditor-General Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo, pointing out that, “…the CITIZENSEYE app is the first-of-its kind for the Audit Service and (the attendants) presence here is a manifestation of your total support in our quest to promote greater transparency and accountability in the public service. Your presence also assures us that we are not alone in our resolve to fighting corruption and demanding higher performance from public officials”.
The public sector has become increasingly aware of the potential of big data for improving service delivery. Data collected from the CITIZENSEYE app can be used to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector, in helping to understand the needs of the citizens. During the live demonstration of the app, officials showcased how the app will provide citizens with the ability to provide feedback on a range of public service issues such as Infrastructure, Water and Sanitation or Education.
AFROSAI-E, with the support of GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa programme, started this initiative aiming at developing a digital tool for enhancing citizen engagement with Audit Institutions in Africa in 2017. This is in line with the International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) 12, whose objective is to demonstrate the “value and benefit of Audit Institutions” to citizens by ensuring that audits respond to citizens’ needs.
In highlighting the importance of using the CITIZENSEYE app to raise service delivery issues to the Auditor-General, Mr. Tassilo von Droste, Deputy Programme Manager of GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa programme stated that “Many citizens have lost trust in public authorities, they complain but rarely engage…it is important to promote citizens’ engagement so that their voice can be heard in achieving the sustainable development goals.”
Through the partnership between Ghana Audit Service and AFROSAI-E together with the support of GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa programme, the app has been developed that allows citizens to engage the Ghana Audit Service on public service issues.
The Ghana Audit Service has various stakeholder engagements planned to create awareness on the CITIZENSEYE app in Ghana.