270 Strategies was hired by the New Patriotic Party to develop and improve its grassroots and get-out-the-vote efforts for the 2016 presidential campaign in Ghana. The 270 team was also tasked with improving the Party’s accountability and monitoring systems to ensure its grassroots program was effective and disciplined on Election Day. Since winning the election by an unprecedented margin, we have supported the new NPP government in setting up a smooth transition period.
In July 2015, 270 began working with the NPP to establish a true ground game that would (1) reach and persuade voters to support the Party through individual level, face-to-face conversations; and (2) enable the Party to turn out supporters and confirm election results across 30,000 polling stations in ten regions. The NPP had attempted and failed to fully build out and execute its grassroots program during the previous two election cycles.
We started our engagement by developing a deeper knowledge of the Party and political landscape through a discovery process that incorporated both on-the-ground and remote work. After an assessment of the grassroots program and staff, we moved to the fundamental tools and skills needed for the NPP to win – including planning templates and a training program at the national, regional, and local levels to ensure the grassroots outreach approach was integrated throughout all campaign activities. We identified a concrete execution plan and hands-on support as primary needs that would determine the success of core campaign activities leading up to and on Election Day.
During the transition, we focused on tools and systems to support the new government’s discovery process, plan development, and to ensure they deliver early successes on the new President’s campaign promises.
We developed the NPP’s grassroots outreach plans, systems, and tools for all levels of staff and volunteers – from the national team down to the local level. We combined this approach with a national training program and practice runs that prepared and directed supporters on critical activities throughout the course of the campaign. We monitored progress for completeness and effectiveness – and introduced data capture as a means of tracking progress towards the campaign goals. For GOTV operations, a parallel “project management team” focused solely on execution of critical get out the vote activities and confirmation of election results.
During the transition, we leveraged existing campaign structures to support the newly-appointed ministers to take stock of their areas, align the current state of the nation with the Party’s campaign promises, and determine which commitments could be implemented in the short and long term. This work included template plans, assessment tools, and identifying/aligning campaign staff with the new task of establishing Ghana’s next government.
We were honored to have played a leadership role on a campaign effort that ultimately saw Nana AkufoAddowin the presidential election by one million votes – fully 10 percentage points. Through our programs, we developed more than 3,000 trainers and trained more than 150,000 supporters – who conducted grassroots outreach, supported voter turnout efforts, and/or monitored the election at the local level on Election Day. Our approach allowed the campaign to track the level of support from voters throughout the campaign – and safeguarded the polls and results on Election Day.
We also set up the 400+ person Project Management Team which ensured smooth execution of Election Day activities and regular reporting of progress and issues throughout the day. Through our efforts, the campaign was able collect the election results before Ghana’s electoral commission and accurately called results within four hours of polls closing. It took the Electoral Commission two days to do the same.