Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

More Details About AVM

In an earlier post, I described my understanding of Amplify Governance and my role within the All Voice Matter (AVM) project.  I was a little off.

First, All Voices Matter is not a way for the elected Assembly Members (similar to Vancouver’s city councilors) to increase citizen engagement.  It’s actually a way for the administrative side of the government to poll citizens.  In two municipalities, I am working with the Public Relations Officers (PRO).  In one municipality I’m working with both the PRO and Planner and in the last municipality I’m working with the Information Officer and Budget Officer. 

Second, All Voices Matter is a survey tool in which the PRO records a survey and sends it out to registered women, youth, and people with disabilities.  In each municipality, we have a list of about 300 names.  The surveys consist of about five questions, usually asking things like “Does your house have a toilet?” or “Do you know what cholera is?”  The questions can be yes/no, numerical, or open-ended.  For the yes/no and numerical questions, participants key in their answers on their cellphone’s keypads.  For the open-ended questions, participants say the answer and it’s recorded.

Third, Amplify is farther along in its timeline than I initially realized.  Both the community training (called “sensitization”) and Assembly member training are already complete.  Yay I don’t have to teach anything!  Instead, I’m making sure that each municipality completes its three surveys/quarter and writing a quarterly report based on the results.  Although I’ve only just started working, I anticipate that a lot of my job will be phoning people and nagging them to record their surveys and send them out.

Fourth, I am also investigating the response rates to see how we can improve them.  Some municipalities have less than 10% while some have over 50% response rates.  Moreover, the number of respondents decreases throughout the survey.  Even though there are only five questions, the first question may have 50 respondents while the second question has only 20.  By the time it gets to the last question, the respondents are usually less than half of those who started.  Why?

I’m also helping on another project called GIFTS, but I’ll save that description for a later day.


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3 thoughts on “More Details About AVM

  1. patrickbvmiller on said:

    Interesting work, Beth. I am curious, if you were to position public engagement on a two axis plane, one being meaningful public engagement (so the low end would be tokenism, the high end empowerment) and usefulness of engagement output (so the low would be ‘not at all, data is too low fidelity’ and the high would be ‘amazing, this informs my planning and decision making), how would you position AVM compared to other tools you have encountered in Ghana, SA, and Canada?

    Thanks for writing 🙂

    • I will add to Patrick’s very well thought out question by requesting that the graph in question be done in cutting-edge professional software such as Microsoft Paint. Bonus points if you manage to make a graph that’s sarcastic :p

      Just kidding, I’m just glad that no one asked me hard questions on my blog haha. Interesting post, Beth (and interesting question, Patrick). Looking forward to hearing more about your work.

      • patrickbvmiller on said:

        I second the vote for MS paint. It better also use clip art. Andrea, I can go back and ask you some questions if you feel left out!

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