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Ahmed and his team at SMART Liberia developed an awareness campaign called Update 8. Based on their belief that “access to regularly updated information is an essential tool for decision-making and a lifeblood of democracy”, their campaign encouraged public institutions to adopt a policy of regularly updating their websites with fresh content. They focused on the University of Liberia, where they discovered that the over 16,000 students at the University of Liberia experienced immense difficulties in accessing course and test schedules on a tiny bulletin board, which in turn affected their preparation and attendance.

Through the Update 8 campaign, SMART Liberia trained 25 student leaders in advocacy, created a dramatized video about the issue that received over 30,000 views on social media, and raised 2,000 student signatures petitioning the administration of the university to regularly update its website. The university’s Vice President of Public Relations, Mr. Norrish Tweh, received the petition on behalf of the university and promised to act upon it. A few months after the campaign, the university launched a new website with more useful and engaging contents than before. Greater online transparency is a key commitment of the Government of Liberia as part of the Open Government Partnership and this project is an important step towards fulfilling that objective.

Watch this short video to learn more:

 

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