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Making All Voices Count, a global initiative aimed at stimulating innovation to improve government performance and accountability, will host the inaugural Global Innovation Competition awards gala in Kenya on 4th April 2014 at Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi County.

The awards seek to recognize and reward innovations drawn from across that world that have showcased creative and cutting-edge solutions to enhance government transparency and accountability including those that use mobile and web technology. This is to help ensure the voices of all citizens are heard and that governments have the capacity, as well as the incentive, to listen and respond.

The Global Innovation Awards were launched at the Open Government Partnership Summit in London in November, 2013. A total of 196 entries were submitted and following an online voting system, 31 semi-finalists drawn from the top 27 voted ideas along with 4 wildcards. The Global Innovation Competition Jury comprising of respected experts in transparency and accountability, media, entrepreneurship, science and technology, drawn from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan and South Africa selected 10 overall finalists who will compete for a GBP 65,000 grand prize plus expert mentorship over a six-month period while two runners-up will each receive a GBP 35,000 grant plus expert mentorship over a six-month period. Seven smaller prizes of GBP 5,000 will also be awarded.

Chair of the Jury Dr. Sheila Ochugboju stated that

The quality of entries received was very high and the diverse range of expertise is really encouraging. I’m thrilled many of the ideas are well tested, either directly or within the context of other work conducted by the entrants already. The ten innovation ideas are drawn from Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Ghana, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique. We can see people are becoming empowered by Gandhi’s vision of becoming the change we want to see in the world!

The awards will be a curtain closure of the Global Innovation Week set to be held at the iHub in Nairobi where the ten finalists will interact with mentors, jury members, members of government and civil society organisations. The week will provide a platform for invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities in which all ideas will be tested, refined and further developed.

Daudi Were Ushahidi’s Director of Innovation at Making All Voices Count said

the innovations created will help many citizens have access to numerous tools that can enable them express their views and positively interact with government and inspire new ways to fight corruption and respond to citizens efficiently, effectively and fairly

Making All Voices Count runs in 12 programme countries namely Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The programme is run and implemented by Ushahidi, Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries – Hivos from The Netherlands and the University of Sussex’s Institute for Development Studies. Making All Voices Count is supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Open Society Foundations (OSF) and Omidyar Network (ON).

An analysis of the 2014 Global Innovation Awards Finalists, along with their country of implementation and area of focus is below:

    1. Reducing Maternal Mortality with SMS. Indonesia. Citizen Engagement.
    2. Bahawalpur Service Delivery Unit (BSDU). Global. Citizen Engagement.
    3. ORBIT. Indonesia. Budget Transparency
    4. GEM – Going the Extra Mile. South Africa. Citizen Engagement.
    5. CitizenEYE. Ghana. Access to Information
    6. Ghana Petrol Watch. Ghana. Access to Information
    7. Citizen Engagement to Implement Election Manifesto. Bangladesh.

Wildcards, selected by the Global Innovation Jury:

  1. Children Engagement for Government Accountability. Tanazania.
  2. The Mandera Times. Kenya. Access to Information.
  3. Taking Citizen Desk to Level 2.0. Mozambique. Cit

For more information please contact

Daudi Were
Director of Innovation
Ushahidi + Making All Voices Count
dwere at ushahidi.com

or

Nicoline van der Torre
Communications Officer
Making All Voices Count
Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries – Hivos
Email – ntorre at hivos.org; Tel + 31(0)70 376 55 00