The STAR-Ghana Foundation on Thursday launched the Ghana Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) COVID-19 Response Coordination Platform to promote the synergy of actions to complement government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic.
The platform is a network of independent, non-partisan CSOs and citizens’ coordinating around a structured response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alhaji Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, the Executive Director of STAR-Ghana Foundation, who launched the network, said it would promote coordination and synergy of actions, build capacities, complement efforts and avoid duplication of work.
It is also expected to enhance the effectiveness of civil society actions around COVID-19 response and post-pandemic recovery.
The launch was on the theme: “The Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities for Deepening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness of Stakeholders”.
Representatives of CSOs in Ghana, state actors, donors and the private sector participated in the virtual launch and panel discussion.
Discussants include Mr Anthony Akoto Ampaw, a private Legal Practitioner, Nana Yaa Afadzinu, the Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute, and Mr Enoch Oti Agyekum, Health Economist at the World Bank.
Others were Mr Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, and Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the Executive Director, Ghana Integrity Initiative.
Madam Teiko Sabah, the Head of Programmes, STAR-Ghana Foundation, said the Platform brings together the collective experiences, expertise and skills of stakeholders to ensure citizens were at the forefront of a sustainable response to the COVID-19 challenges now and into the future.
“We seek to support a more inclusive and responsive approach by Government to the pandemic and its future impact on citizens,” she said.
“We seek to actively engage with state actors and authorities for transparency and accountability on resource utilisation, allocation and monitoring.”
“We shall coordinate actions and activities of CSOs whose work continue to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 on the vulnerable populations and their resilience.”
Madam Sabah said working through a network of five thematic clusters, the platform would coordinate actions around policy influencing and the futures, as well as COVID-19 expenditure tracking and anti-corruption.
It would also coordinate socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and CSOs and access to information on the pandemic.
The Platform launch marked an opportunity to deepen the relationship between CSOs and the state on issues of national concern such as the Right to Information (RTI) Act and other social policy works, Madam Sabah said.
She said members would continue to be involved in various aspects of support from debunking fake news, instituting transparency and accountability measures, and tracking spent, quality, and value for money support for the poor and marginalised.
She called on the relevant duty bearers to join in efforts to fight the common enemy – the COVID-19.