General News of Saturday, 16 September 2017
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD- Ghana) is supporting civil society organisations in 20 selected metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to organise sensitisation programmes to ensure participation and transparency in local government budgeting and planning systems.
The sensitisation programme, which starts this month and ends in October, is being held in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), dubbed; “Promoting Social Accountability through Citizens Participation in Local Governance in Ghana’’ .
It is aimed at educating the citizens on the planning and budgeting process of the MMDAs.
A statement issued in Accra by the CDD-Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the four-year project (2015-2018) funded by OSIWA, is also expected to develop an informed citizenry and build coalition among local citizens’ groups and media to demand accountability from duty bearers.
As part of the project implementation, the CDD-Ghana had constituted District Education Committees (DECs) in all the 20 project districts who had been taken through capacity building programmes to empower them to implement the project.
It said various research findings such as the 2014 Afrobarometer Ghana Survey and the 2015 Open Budget Index pointed to the lack of engagements and consultation with citizens in the design and implementation of MMDA programmes such as budget plans.
The statement said the education and sensitisation activities were aimed at equipping citizens and stakeholders with the requisite knowledge and understanding of the planning and budgeting systems of MMDAs.
It said the activities also sought to sensitise the citizens to effectively engage with the process, prepare them to respond to the right of participation, demand accountability and promote inclusion in local governance.
The release said the programme would also focus on issues such as modalities for stakeholders and citizens engagements in the preparation of the Medium Term Development Plan including the conduct of the public hearing and post plan implementation.
Others include engagement with citizens as required by the planning guidelines, budget hearing and how citizens can follow the budget and its implementation at the local level to demand accountability in public spending.