According to him , both MMDAs and CSOs must as a matter of commitment to development create the avenue for trust building interventions and also define specific roles to be performed by each party in order to give clarity in the performance of their responsibilities.
Mr. Osei-Bimpeh said this in Accra in a welcome address at a consultative meeting organised by SEND-Ghana to generate inputs for the development of comprehensive and harmonised guidelines for managing relations between CSOs and MMDAs in tandem with the 2010 decentralisation policy objectives .
He advised MMDAs to desist from seeing themselves as the only vehicle to national development and providers of all the solutions to the needs and services of the local people but rather play the roles of leadership and facilitation.
?They must place themselves in a position to join all stakeholders particularly in long-term planning of local development and growth. They must be results-oriented and establish durable systems of communication?, he added
Mr. Osei-Bimpeh noted that the relationship between various governments and CSOs over the years has not been the best as the latter have resisted attempts of encroachment on their liberties by the former.
?The influence of governments was in varied forms including the tendency to support organisations that project their interest and the attempt to hinder the progress of those perceived to be against policies of government?, he said
According to him, this unhealthy development came at a great cost leading to the demise of many CSOs which has accounted for their moderate contributions to national development but added that the rise in the number of CSOs over the past two decades calls for more resources to be used in strengthening and building a vibrant relationship between them and MMDAs.
The meeting brought together representatives from some MMDAs and CSOs who divided themselves into groups at a brainstorming plenary and experience sharing session on the way forward to strengthening their relationship for national development.
By: Romeo Adzah Dowokpor