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YES-Ghana Leads the “Big Idea” Project in Ghana


The Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana) has been selected to lead the design and implementation of the Big Idea project in Ghana, starting January 2014 for a period of at least three years. 

The Big Idea is a project of Restless Development in London and is grounded on the believe that open data in the hands of young people can effectively drive national- and local-level accountability and development progress. That’s what we believe at YES-Ghana and what the Big Idea project is aiming to demonstrate by piloting in Ghana, Tanzania and Nepal. The project applies a highly consultative and participatory approach by:

  • Giving young people a central role in developing and running the project;
  • Putting a range of stakeholders at the centre of project design, implementation, learning and evaluation;
  • Developing a rigorous, yet flexible project design, that has built-in feedback loops and allows ongoing adaptation to learning and changes in environment.

We are seizing the opportunity created by the high-profile post-2015 development agenda process, and capitalising on the concurrent global movements in open governance and the data revolution. The project will equip young people with knowledge, skills and platforms to effectively interpret and use data in order to mobilise citizens to take action, and hold their governments accountable for the issues that are most important to young people and their broader communities, within the framework of the MDG targets and indicators. The Big Idea project is a multi-stakeholder partnership bringing together data experts, civil society, youth organisations, academia, the private sector and government.

We want to demonstrate how data and technology as well as support from different national and international stakeholders allow young people to make a contribution for sustainable political and social change, by:

  • Developing a scalable model that enables young people to actively engage in decision-making processes;
  • Providing structured learning for civil society stakeholders on the most effective means to engage young people in open development;
  • Building collaboration between different specialist sectors (e.g. youth, open data, big data, participatory researchers, decision-makers).

During an inception meeting with stakeholders, the Executive Director of YES-Ghana said “social accountability issues are not new in Ghana; what is new is that, through the Big Idea, the nation’s largest cohort, the youth, will be at the forefront deploying their energies and innovation to drive an all-inclusive process of making our leaders more accountable”.