From pregnant mothers to those with disabilities, John Agbanyo is delivering digital democracy and digital health services to the marginalized.
Thirty-six year old John Stephen Agbanyo is a part-time university lecturer and founder of Savana Signatures, an organization that uses technology to promote development. He wants to harness digital tools to save lives and help Ghana’s marginalized communities engage in democracy. But he also thinks the government needs to take the downsides of the digital revolution more seriously.
We at Savana Signature like to say that development is just a click away. The organization has piloted life-changing programs, including our famous Mobile for Social Inclusive Governance (MSIG) and Technology for Maternal and Child Health (T4MCH). In both projects, the clients receive practical tips and information direct to their mobile phones. In the case of MSIG, the target audience is people with disabilities. For most people with disabilities, gaining access to authorities or information is particularly difficult. Our platform allows a marginalized group of people to contribute to decision-making. The other project, the T4MCH, brings antenatal services to the doorsteps of mothers and pregnant women in rural Ghana. Access to health facilities is scarce in rural regions and even if there are facilities, financing antenatal services remains another challenge. So we developed an app for those who are cut off from antenatal services.
I cannot imagine life without technology, because it allows real time communication. It has, however, also become a threat to our health. People are becoming addicted to their smartphones and I agree with the idea of making smartphone addiction a public health issue.
Maxwell Suuk / Matthew Moore
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer