Policy Think-Tank, Ghana Center for Democratic Governance (CDD-Ghana) is deeply worried about by the social exclusion of many citizens from decision making at especially at the district assemblies level.
It is against this backdrop the organization has launched a four-year project to be piloted in some 20 selected districts nationwide meant to promote citizens participation in local governance.
Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is funding the project on the theme, “Building Transparency, Participation and Feedback around Local Government Budgeting and Planning Systems.”
The project is an offspring of the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) program running in 33 countries globally which Ghana is a signatory to.
The project duration which is from January 2015 to December 2018 is spearheaded by CDD-Ghana in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of Finance, the Local Government Service, the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana and the Ghana Federation of the Disabled.
The project if successfully implemented is expected to strengthen transparency, accountability and social auditing in tandem with CDD-Ghana’s good governance promotion roadmap.
It is also intended to lead to attitudinal and behavioral changes among district assembly staff and the citizenry to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of local revenue.
The project as well is aimed at promoting social accountability through citizen participation in local Governance in Ghana and as well to encourage citizens actively participate in decision making at the local governance level.
The project was officially launched in Tamale which brought together stakeholders from the Upper East and the Upper West Regions.
Programs Manager of CDD-Ghana, Paul Osei-Kuffour at the inaugural ceremony further explained that the project’s goal is to enhance citizen participation in budgeting and planning systems at the local level.
“This project is part of CDD-Ghana’s contribution towards promoting open, accountable and inclusive governance and creating a democratic culture at the local level where citizens are the key drivers of local government pro-poor policies, programs and initiatives.”
“It is also about expanding the democratic space, voice and feedback among state and non-state acts to improve the delivery of public goods and services at the local level,” he emphasized.
Paul Osei-Kuffour anticipated that the project could deepen collective ownership and accountability in line with the 2018 Medium Term Development Plan.
He wished the project could help develop an informed citizenry and build coalitions among the locals who often have been socially excluded from decision making.
Paul Osei Kuffour implored the participants to educate citizens on the need to zealously participate in decision making with rapt attention on district assemblies monitoring, budgeting and planning processes.
Retired diplomat and a senior research fellow with CDD-Ghana, former Ambassador Francis Tsegah commended OSIWA for funding the project.
He implored the participants to religiously contribute their quota to make the project’s implementation successful.
Ambassador Francis Tsegah urged the media to support CDD-Ghana succeed in promoting good governance in Ghana.
He said CDD-Ghana opened its Tamale office to oversee the centers research and programs in the three regions of the north.
The participants offered useful suggestions and recommendations needed to make the project’s implementation successful.
CDD-Ghana is an independent, non-partisan research focused Think-Tank working to promote democracy, good governance and economic openness in Ghana and Africa.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com/ Ghana