Frequently Asked Questions
The Citizens Watch is a promise tracker that is designed to enable citizens, civil societies, journalists, scholars and public policy analyst to track and measure the most significant campaign promises of government officials, in a bid to promote accountability and participatory governance.
The Citizens Watch was born out of the conviction that there is no better way to enhance good governance than a fundamental citizen engagement. For the government to work for the common good, citizens must be empowered with the information and skills to hold leaders accountable, support pro-people government policies and actively participate in the governance process.
The purpose of this project is to develop a culture of constructive dialogue between the government and the governed, in a bid to enhance the quality of basic public services delivery in education, health, agriculture, infrastructures etc.
The Citizens’ Watch is an initiative of The Reformers Initiative for Development in Africa (Reformers of Africa). Reformers of Africa is a non-profit, pan-African civic-tech organization— dedicated to promoting and supporting ideals, principles and practices of participatory governance, digital social innovation, peace and government accountability in Africa. From Nigeria to South Sudan, Namibia to DRC, Tunisia to Comoros Island, South Africa to other parts of Africa, the organization is building a community of reformers marked by innovation, collective intelligence, collaboration and the grit to advocate for institutional reforms and influence social change.
To set up a promise tracker, such as GSM Watch, our team will peruse policy document, media engagements, campaign websites, transcripts of speeches, debates, and statements made during rallies- searching for trackable promises. Readers can also suggest trackable promises via email to email@example.com or use the suggest button on the website. It is worthy of note that all suggestions will be fact-checked before they are uploaded.
Our promise tracking process includes the following:
- Thorough internet search
- Engaging the agency or ministry of government in charge of executing a promise. It is worthy of note that we do not rely solely on the information we get from government officials, we verify it independently
- We make use of trained volunteers to verify the status of a promise in their community
- A review of academic publications, open-sourced data and government reports.
- Trusted online news sources and review of available evidence.
The Citizens Watch makes use of an offline and mobile technology tracking tools, to track the most significant campaign promises of public office holders and ultimately rate each promise using the following metrics:
Not Started: All promise begins at this stage. It indicates that the implementation of the promise has not commenced.
Ongoing: This metric indicates that the promise is in the works.
Fifty/Fifty: This indicates that a promise is done halfway- the promise has been partly completed, less than the official’s original promise.
Against a Brick Wall: Promise earns this rating when its fulfilment is being challenged or jeopardized by a legislative act, injunction or a natural disaster.
Promise Broken: This metric is used for a promise that is not kept.
Promise Kept: This indicates that a promise has been completely fulfilled.
The Citizens Watch has several partners- civil societies, community-based organizations, media outlets, local radio stations, newspapers etc. Some of our current partners include Citizens Gavel.
We receive support primarily from our parent organization, Reformers of Africa and voluntary financial contribution from individuals. Today, we are exploring other funding opportunities like grants, social enterprise, crowdfunding and membership donations.
You can support our work by donating.