The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is partnering with RISE-Ghana to implement a governance project dubbed “Promoting Social Accountability Through citizens’ Participation in Local Governance in Ghana Project” in the Kassena Nankana West District.
The four year project, which is being funded by the Open Society for Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), is aimed at increasing demand for transparency, participation and feedback in local government planning and budgeting processes through increased citizen participation.
This was made known at a community durbar held under the theme: Building transparency, participation and feedback around Local Government Budgeting and Planning Systems”, organized by RISE-Ghana at Sirigu in the Kassena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
The CDD-Ghana is also supporting other CSOs to implement the same project in 20 MMDAs across the country with funding from OSIWA.
Speaking at the community durbar, Mr Awal Ahmed Kariama, the Executive Director of RISE-Ghana, said the project had the twin aim of nurturing local CSOs to champion social accountability, as well as creating the enabling environment for citizens to participate in decentralization for increased responsiveness and accountability from Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAS).
Even though the decentralization framework required the creation of District Education Committees (DEC) in all MMDAs, most of them had not formed the committees but the project had formed and trained a 10-member DEC who were performing the mandate of educating citizens on the decentralization process and their role”, Mr Kariama said.
Mr Umar Mohammed, the Assistant Director of Kassena Nankana West District Assembly and also Focal Person for the project, said that the District was one of the most challenged and constrained in the Region because of its geographical spread, diversity and size.
“We are the only district with seven paramount traditional councils located within two other districts. This makes it difficult for us to effectively engage citizens, we are grateful to CDD-Ghana and OSIWA for strengthening the capacity of DEC members and supporting us to organize this community durbar”, he said.
Mr Theophilus Adakema, a Youth Representative at the durbar, said he has never been involved in the process of the district assembly and did not know how they made plans and budgets adding that the programme had educated him enough about how the Assembly operates and functions.