Action needed for effective development – SNV

By
Belinda Ayamgha, GNA

Accra, Aug. 26, GNA – Dr Adriaan de Jager,
Country Director of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) says in
order to engineer development communities, it was important for actors to move
from paper and policy documents to real action.

He said: “Development requires more than
paper, it requires more than policy documents, it requires more than just
speaking out nice intentions during workshops and conferences. It requires
action.”

Speaking at the launch SNV’s Voice for Change
Partnership (V4CP) Programme in Accra, Dr de Jager expressed the need for
stakeholders to take action together on implementing the project to the benefit
of the larger society.

He said civil society organisations has been
instrumental in inducing change on important issues by raising their voices on
issues such as the working conditions of textile industry workers in Bangladesh
and food safety issues in the west and in China, as well as in various areas in
Ghana.

Ghana, he noted also has a number of
developmental challenges that the programme seeks to address issues in the
areas of food security, women cooking under harmful circumstances, lack of
access to clean water and sanitation services as well as untapped opportunities
in off-grid energy sources, among others.

“The challenges require change, either at
the policy level with institution of rules and regulations or at the private
sector level as well as from development organisations themselves.”

He noted that the principle of the V4CP’s
advocacy would be based on discussion with evidence and not on confrontation
and called on stakeholders to collaborate in the implementation of the
programme.

Mr Eric Banye, Project Coordinator of the V4CP
programme said the five-year programme, which would be implemented in
partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute, funded by
the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It aims at strengthening CSOs to advocate an
enabling environment for government and businesses to provide good and
affordable services for low-income segments in the society.

The programme covers three main areas: Water,
Sanitation and Hygiene; which seeks to increase access sustainable and
affordable sanitation services, Food and Nutrition security to create ensure
the creation of an enabling environment by government and private sector for
access to sufficient, affordable and nutritious food and energy.

It would use three main pillars: capacity
building, evidence gathering and implementation to address issues in these
sectors and to empower CSOs, influence agenda-setting and enhance government
and private sector accountability.

Mr Thierry van Helden, First Secretary of the
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands said his country is reinventing its
relationship with Ghana from a development relationship to one focused on trade,
thus the focus on mutually beneficial areas such as health, agriculture and
energy.

He noted that the programme would run from
2016 to 2020 with a global annual budget of 185 million Euros.

He expressed the need for government, CSOs,
private and knowledge organisations to collaborate in order to grow the
economy.

Dr Ben Nyamadi, CEO of the Ghana Irrigation
Development Authority, who launched the programme on behalf of the Minister of
Food and Agriculture, lauded SNV and EKN for the programme, which he said was
essential for holding duty bearers to account.

He said it is important to explore the use of
off-grid electrification for productive use, such as for irrigating farmland
and other activities along the value chain of food production.

Stakeholder at the launch, including CSOs, and
the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies lauded the project and
expressed the need for all parties to work together to implement the project in
order to achieve the outcomes.

GNA

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