The Odekro Story: Empowering Ghanaians with Accurate Information on Parliamentadmin 19th May 2019 0 COMMENTS
In the Akan chieftaincy hierarchy, the Odekro is the sub-divisional chief responsible for ruling a town and making sure the citizens are taken care of. Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected to serve constituencies and this intervention, Odekro, monitors them.
Odekro PMO Foundation founded in 2015 is a non-profit, non-partisan, parliamentary monitoring organization based in Accra, Ghana. It started as a project in 2012 of Nehemiah Attigah’s Hatua Solutions and Emmanuel Amofa Okeyere’s Hutspace, who died in 2014. Hutspace led the initiative, with support from mySociety, UK and sponsorship from the Indigo Trust. Odekro’s mission is to inform and empower Ghanaian citizens on the work of Parliament and other institutions of democratic governance, through the analysis of open data.
After a brief period of inactivity following the unfortunate demise of Emmanuel Okyere, Odekro grew exponentially from 2014 till date by introducing periodic reports on the attendance rates and contributions to debates of Parliamentarians. It has established itself as the go-to source for Parliamentary Open Data by digitizing hard copies of the Hansard (the proceedings of parliamentary debates) using OCR technology. Odekro’s production of unique, high quality and fact-based content has resulted in increased engagement with the Ghanaian public and attracted the interest of donors, parliamentarians, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
Odekro’s work promotes:
- Good democratic governance and strengthens institution building
- Transparency and accountability in governance and representation
- Citizens access to information
- Civil society oversight of democratic institutions
- Citizens engagement and action in the democratic governance beyond elections
Success stories of Odekro
Some of Odekro’s accomplishments are as follows:
- Odekro published the REPORT ON THE SIXTH PARLIAMENT OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC OF GHANA, December 2016, which assessed the entire 4-year term of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana with the aim to fill the information gap with the necessary data to hold Parliament and MPs accountable. It also published the REPORT ON THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SEVENTH PARLIAMENT, 2017, the first of four annual reports on the Seventh Parliament.
- MPs’ Absenteeism Report for the First and Second Meetings of the Seventh Parliament of Ghana
- What to Expect from Parliament in the First Quarter of 2019
- Corruption is a Big Issue: A corpus-assisted study of the discursive construction of corruption in Ghanaian parliamentary discourse
- This Week in Parliament #TWIP – a weekly round-up of all the discussions that takes place on the floor of Parliament.
Odekro’s Major Projects
Engage citizens online, and on traditional media on the work of Parliament and its members: Odekro makes extensive use of social media platforms to engage the public on the work of Parliament. Activities include live-tweeting from the Floor of Parliament and disseminating information on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In addition, Odekro continues to partner with traditional media to raise awareness on the work of Parliament.
Provide Tech support to the Parliamentary Service: Odekro developed a Parliamentary Database Management System for the Hansards Department to use in its work and provides other tech support to improve data capture and management.
Digitize historical and contemporary open Parliamentary documents and data – A key focus of Odekro’s work is to ensure citizens’ access to Parliamentary information and open data. Odekro has taken delivery of Hansards and other parliamentary open documents, dating back to the 1950s Legislative Assemblies through to the 4th Republic Parliaments. The objective is to digitize all historical and contemporary documents, thereby preserving the documents and generating a digital archive that will be available to the public, in formats that can be easily accessed, and with tools that enable the archive to be searched and data-mined.
The Odekro Brown Bag Series: A monthly learning platform for Odekro team, CSOs, media, academics, members of parliament and the general public. The success and importance of the learning platform informed STAR-Ghana’s decision to implement The Baobab Market, a learning platform based in Tamale and inspired by the Odekro Brown Bag.
Recent Media Coverage on Odekro’s Work and Reports
- Odekro adjudged the best technology-innovation in education.
- Suspending Agyapong is like asking a truant student to stay home –
- The Speaker’s silence and the reforms citizens need https://www.graphic.com.gh/features/opinion/the-speaker-s-silence-and-the-reforms-citizens-need.html
- Absentee MPs cost taxpayer GHS1.4m in 2017 – Odekro: https://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2018/June-14th/absentee-mps-cost-taxpayer-14m-in-2017-odekro.php
- 54 MPs cited for absenteeism without permission in Odekro report: https://citinewsroom.com/2018/06/14/54-mps-cited-for-absenteeism-without-permission-in-odekro-report/
- Our MPs and their Scorecards: https://www.graphic.com.gh/features/opinion/our-mps-and-their-score-cards.html
- Article 78 (1) of the 1992 Constitution disincentive – report: https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/politics/article-78-1-of-1992-constitution-disincentive-report.html
Follow Odekro on all their social media platforms : Facebook, Twitter and