The Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) programme being implemented by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), has facilitated the establishment and institutionalisation of Nutrition Technical Committees in Yendi, Nanumba North, East Gonja and Wa West Municipal Assemblies.
Mr Dramani Bukari, SNV Ghana, Country Programme Manager, said the establishment of the Nutrition Technical Committees in the four Municipal Assemblies was part of efforts to improve nutrition.
He said the initiative was in line with the objective of ensuring proper coordination and inclusiveness of nutrition activities at the local level as required by the National Nutrition Policy.
“Through the five-year implementation period of V4CP, SNV worked extensively with their civil society organisation (CSO) partners, strengthening and enhancing advocacy towards policy formulation in three thematic areas; Food and Nutrition Security, Renewable Energy, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).”
Mr Bukari said this in a presentation at the SNV V4CP programme closure and learning event in Accra.
The five-year programme, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), and co-implemented with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), has been promoting evidence-based advocacy and partnering with 12 CSOs in the renewable energy, agriculture and WASH sectors to influence policy-making; specially focusing on five thematic areas; access to sustainable nutrition, post-harvest loss reduction, improved clean cooking, access to off-grid electrification, and sustainable sanitation and hygiene.
It equally empowered community members, through the CSO partners, with capacity to demand access to the services from the 18 Municipal and District Assemblies.
The VC4P aimed at strengthening CSOs to advocate an enabling environment in, which Governments and businesses provided good and affordable services for low-income segments in society.
Some of the advocacy activities include; knowledge and capacity building, workshops and accountability forums, town hall meetings, coaching, evidence-generation, lobbying, funding support, and baseline studies.
Mr Bukari said for renewable energy category, V4CP successfully supported the Kasena Nankana West Municipal, the Kasena Nankana District, the Ejisu Municipal and the South Tongu District Assemblies to mainstream clean cooking activities into their 2018-2021 Medium Term Development Plans (MTDP).
He said through stakeholder consultative process, the Kassena Nankana West Municipality, the Kassena Nankana District, the Ejisu Municipal and the South Tongu District, went beyond mainstreaming clean cooking into their MTDP to developing clean cooking strategic plans, while the Kwahu Afram Plains North District went further to develop an off-grid electrification plan.
Mr Bukari said the challenges included; a mismatch between selected themes and country planning guidelines and frameworks and transfer of key government and political officials impacting the progress of advocacy.
The Programme Manager recommended that advocacy programmes should take account of themes already captured in broader national development guidelines to help guarantee results.
Mr Bukari also said for the involvement of stakeholders in the review of context analysis and evidence development could promote effective advocacy planning and acceptance of evidence.
Mr Anjo Van Toorn, SNV Country Director, said SNV had collaborated with international and national partners, leading and facilitating engagements that were results-driven with the intent to enhance access to basic services for all.
He noted that V4CP had strengthened the capacity of not just the CSOs partners to engage and hold government accountable, but also created a platform for CSOs to hold fruitful interactions with their respective Municipal and District Assemblies that had resulted in change.
Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, encouraged CSOs to make sure they delivered quality help make governments more accountable to citizens, thus, contributing to greater social cohesion, stronger and more open democracy, a better response to environmental problems, a better business climate, more opportunities for all and less inequality.