Civil society, District Assemblies meet on guidelines to improve local governance

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Metropolitan, Municipals and District Assembly (MMDA)representatives met last Tuesday to propose guidelines on effective ways to collaborate for local governance enhancement.

The SEND-Ghana-sponsored initiative was in furtherance of Government’s Decentralisation Policy of 2010, which bother on the activities of CSOs in local governance.

The consultative meeting was the first step of Send-Ghana’s project to maximize participation of nonstate actors, such as civil society organizations, in local governance for increased accountability, transparency and responsiveness.

Mr Stephen Osei-Yeboah, Head of Department of Local and Regional Economic Development at the Institute of Local Government Studies said local governance has broadened over the years to include the state, the private sector and civil society since government cannot do it all.

“The relationship between local authorities and local stakeholders is becoming more complex as a result of increasing local interests that must be pooled together for a common good”, he said.

The 2010 Decentralisation Policy sets out an agenda that border on activities of Civil Society Organisations.

 The policy makes a strong case for the involvement of civil society organisations in local governance.

Participants at the consultative meeting, who include representatives from IMANI Ghana, Rural-Urban Women and Children Development Agency (RUWACDA), and District Assemblies within Accra, underscored the need for CSOs to keep neutral when dealing with the MMDAs.

Representatives of the District Assemblies particularly tasked CSOs to increase visibility and create sustainability of their projects in a bid to improve participation and decision making in local governance.

The different output by participants of the consultative meeting will be collated into a document  to be adopted to manage the relations between CSOs and MMDAs.

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