The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has held a day’s workshop at Lawra and Nandom Districts for stakeholders to reflect on its “Promoting Social Accountability through Citizens’ Participation in Local Governance”.
This was to inform the design of an exit and sustainability strategy for the two districts to wean off the project.
It was also to identify and build on strategies and approaches that worked best for the project and implement relevant modifications required to sustain the project outcomes and achievements in the project districts.
The workshop, held separately in the two districts in the Upper West Region, was attended by key stakeholders including District Chief Executives, District Coordinating Directors, Development Planning Officers, chiefs, Queen mothers, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and some civil society organizations.
It formed part of activities to end the implementation of the “Promoting Social Accountability through Citizens’ Participation in Local Governance,” a citizen’s empowerment and accountability project, implemented by CDD-Ghana in the two districts.
The project is being implemented in 20 districts in the country with the aim to strengthen transparency, participation and feedback around local government budgeting and planning systems.
It also seeks to enhance the capacity, attitudes and behaviour of citizens and stakeholders towards deepening accountability and transparency in the use of local resources as well as improving service delivery.
Mr Balaarah Abdulai, a member of the project team, who spoke during the workshops at the two Assemblies, urged public sector officials to see citizens’ participation in development initiatives as a right backed by law and policy guidelines to involve them in design, planning, implementation and monitoring of development interventions to ensure sustainable development.
Mr Balaarah said section 40-48 of the Local Governance Act provided opportunity for citizens, most importantly, vulnerable populations such as PWDs, women, youth amongst others to participate and share their thoughts on development issues that affected their lives.
He encouraged state actors to constantly engage citizens beyond the conventional platforms such as town hall meetings that were supported by CDD-Ghana to enhance transparency and accountability.
He said citizens were losing trust in service providers on the grounds of service provision, a situation, he indicated, was contributing significantly to the decrease in revenue generation by Assemblies.
Mr Balaarah, therefore, encouraged the service providers to constantly share with citizens, information regarding service provision in the District to enable them to trust and support revenue generation efforts to enhance local development.