ORDERPAPER Nigeria, an online newspaper, has launched ConsTrack, a mobile application that was designed to enable citizens engage their representatives at the federal and state levels on constituency projects across the country.
The ConsTrack app empowers citizens to track the implementation of constituency projects and it comes loaded with verified and validated information on the location of the projects, amount appropriated, level of funding provided the implementing ministry, department or agency, status of implementation and the profiles of the legislators concerned.
Armed by the above information, individuals will be able to ask the right questions of their representatives and hold them accountable
“Every year, the federal government appropriates at least N100billion for constituency projects of members of the National Assembly,” said Titilope Fadare, Programs assistant, ConsTrack
“State Governments also allocate billions annually for these projects under the aegis of members of the state assemblies. However, the constituency projects scheme has been entangled in reports of corruption, opacity and non-inclusion in terms of implementation,” hence the need for citizens to get involved.
ConsTrack enables the user to track and directly report their findings on the projects either by text, audio or videos with their mobile devices in the comfort of their neighborhoods, communities and constituencies.
These independent citizens’ reports invariably ignite a chain of updates, reactions and counter reactions from various stakeholders in a continuous stream of engagement.
On the other hand, the lawmakers can also take advantage of the mobile app to tell their success on constituency projects in order to provide a balanced narrative and healthy interface between citizens and their elected representatives in parliament.
In summary, the ConsTrack app is a tool that cuts through the controversy on constituency projects by disrupting corruption and opacity associated with the scheme in a manner that engenders policy reforms along the lines of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.
“The release of the ConsTrack app is a culmination of various levels of multi-stakeholder consultations and validation exercises that have spanned over a year,” Fadare further explained.
“Actors and stakeholders that have been involved in the consultations include legislators in the National and State Assemblies, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), the Media, Software and IT experts, and Development Practitioners, among others.”
The project was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project.