As part of its efforts to help enhance citizen’s participation in decision making especially at the local level; Child Research and Resource Centre (CRRECENT) has taken a giant step by organising a development dialog workshop for some key personalities at Akuapem in Eastern Region.
The training attracted Assembly members, Presiding Members, retired public sector workers, key community leaders and all other stakeholders in the district.
The programme was aimed at educating participants on their roles and responsibilities to enable them to perform to expectation in order to help boost local governance.
In an interview with the Executive Director of CRRECENT Mrs. Susan Sabaa, she noted that CRRECENT with support from STAR-Ghana is implementing a 12 months project with citizens in 12 communities and Government Agencies in the Akuapem North Municipality and Okere District Assembly.
According to her, the project seeks to promote inclusive citizen participation in local governance for economic development with emphasis on the Governments Planting for Food and Jobs Policy.
“We realized that there is a total disconnection between the local government and the people. The assembly doesn’t feel accountable to the people on other hand; the people are also ignorant of their share as citizens when it comes to demanding for accountability from the duty bearers,” she explained.
This she said, the initial step they took during the first part of the project was to sensitize the people to know what exactly belong to them and the power that they have at their disposal to enable them engage the authorities at the local level and also demand for what is theirs.
“At the end of the it all, because what of we stand for as a youth and child organization we want to look at how effective governance can insure to the benefit of the young people, children and families.
So we are here today, to take them through the entire governance system at the local level to let them know their roles and their various responsibilities,” she explained.
And how they will use the skills impacted to them to negotiate and engage the District Assemblies. We are also, equipping them to participate in local governance.
“We have single out one particular national policy which is Planting for Food and Job Policy. We want them to use the capacity we have built in them to demand something from that policy.”
A Lecturer at Local Government Institute, Kwasi Larnyo, entreated Assembly Members to endeavour educate people on government policies and programmes on issue that concern them.
This he said, the main role of Assembly Members was to promote the development of the district and advised them to be responsive to sub-committee meetings for a consensus decision and implementation by the Assembly.
The Project Manager and Communications Lead at CRRECENT, Mrs. Efua Chidi, also hinted as part of the ongoing project, they have introduced an initiative dubbed: The Youth Parliament (YP)
It’s an opportunity for the youth to hold leaders accountable. And also by engaging their Assembly Members on core issues that impact on the future of the youth of Ghana.
This she said, The Youth Parliament is very active in keeping the Assembly members on their toes. Adding that, initiative would also go a long way to enhance the development of these future leaders.
Some of the participants who spoke with News Ghana after the workshop commended CRRECENT and Star Ghana for organising such a sensitisation training for them.
Adding such training should be continued unabated in order to help them understand the local governance system fully.
CHILD RESEARCH AND RESOURCE CENTRE (CRRECENT) is a civil society institution that focuses on evidence-based programmes to promote child and youth rights and development as a direct function of national development.
The organization is registered as a private voluntary not-profit company limited by guarantee with a vision to contributing to building a well-integrated society that recognizes children in every sector and creates the necessary space and opportunity to respond to their developmental needs.
CRRECENT’s mission is to strive to be the leading child-based research and resource institution that uses evidence-based programmes and projects in changing lives and giving hope and opportunity to disadvantaged vulnerable children and youth in partnership with stakeholders and creating online one stop shop data and information bureau on children and youth in West Africa; this we will undertake through research, evidence based policy, advocacy and social enterprise programmes with diligence, passion, sincerity and integrity.
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh