Metropolitan , Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to engage all stakeholders in their planning and budgeting process particularly Persons with Disabilities(PWDs) and women to ensure all-inclusiveness and participatory governance.
Mr Saaka Sumaila, the Project Consultant made the call during a one day awareness and sensitization workshop on Inclusive Participatory Decentralized Planning for Leaders of Citizen groups organized by the Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC), an Advocacy and human rights organization, with funding support from STAR-Ghana at Tongo in the Talensi District,
The governance project dubbed’ Strengthening Inclusive and Accountability Local Governance’, is being implemented by CODAC in the Bongo and the Talensi Districts of the Upper East Region aimed at addressing issues on gender inequality and social inclusion.
The Project Consultant who facilitated the training programme which attracted stakeholders including planning and budgeting officers , PWDs , Assembly Members, Queen Mothers, the Media among others observed that that number of researches conducted by his outfit and other organizations revealed most of the MMDAs did engage many stakeholders especially PWDs as required by the decentralization concept.
He stressed that the decentralization concept required all the MMDAs to involve many stakeholders in their operational areas in their Medium Term Development Planning yet many of the fall short of this.
He stated stakeholders in the private and business and PWDs, the Youth, Traditional and religious leaders women, Civil Society Organizations Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were very critical for the MMDAs to engage them in the process and cited examples the most of the Assemblies get their revenue from the private and the business sectors making it very important to engage them.
“Most of the business and the private sectors and CSOs also play important roles in job creation and have many linkages with other stakeholders . It is therefore very relevant for the MMDAs to engage such stakeholders to partner the Assemblies for development”, the Project Consultant stressed.
Many of the participants noted that some development projects that had been put up by the Assemblies for communities to use are not being used because the communities were not consulted before they were put up.
The Executive Director of CODAC , Mr Seidu Musah Akugri , explained that the training programme formed part of the process of implementing the “STAR-Ghana funded Strengthening Inclusive and Accountable Local Governance Project “
He noted that the purpose of the training programme is to build the capacity of the target groups in development planning of the Assemblies and to whip up the interest of the stakeholders particularly the communities to actively participate in the decentralization concept.
Among some of the topics the participants were taken through included Development, Participation and Inclusive Development , introduction to the concepts in development, Defining Participatory Planning , Importance of Participatory Planning , Benefits of Inclusive Participatory Planning , the role of key stakeholders in Participatory Planning .
By Samuel Akapule, Tongo(UE),