The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) has organised a two-day capacity workshop for civil society organisations (CSOs) and media practitioners working in governance on how to develop the Community Score Cards.
The Community Score Card is a participatory and community based monitoring tool that is primarily meant to monitor service providers such as the municipal and district assemblies to deliver quality services as well as ensure accountability and transparency in the delivery of services.
The workshop, which is under its Social Accountability Platform for Local Governance Performance Project, funded by the European Union attracted participants from the southern zones including the Eastern, Western, Central, Volta and Greater Accra Regions.
Dr Abdulai Dramani, Deputy Director, ILGS said Ghana as a country has been implementing decentralisation reforms with key objectives of contributing to the democratisation process.
He said it is also to promote participatory development and ensure citizenship culture.
He said that one of the ways in implementing the decentralisation reform is through social accountability, since it implementation is not easy.
He indicated that social accountability does not take place in a vacuum and there is the need for certain knowledge and experiences with civil society and media to champion the course.
Dr Dramani expressed appreciation to the European Union for the immense support provided to the Social Accountability Platform to build the capacity of CSOs.
He called on CSOs to continue the dialogue in implementing decentralisation process and urged participants to put in their full cooperation.
Mr William Mantey, a representative of Local Governance Network group, explained that the network empowers its members and citizens to engage confidently and effectively in the decentralisation and local governance process.
He said the network has been in the forefront of advocating a law that would recognise the right of CSOs to follow the process in the planning, formulation, execution and monitoring of all local governance issues.
Mr Edward Adu Aboagye, Project Manager of Social Accountability Platform for Local Governance Performance Project, said over the years the state had taken responsibilities such as the provision of basic services including education, health and sanitation.
He said with all these efforts the state had not been able to fully fulfil the needs of the people in delivering such services, hence the introduction of the decentralisation concept.
Mr Aboagye said the concept was to give power to the local authority to use the limited resources at their disposal judiciously to help improve upon service delivery.
The Project Manager indicated that one of the mechanisms that could be used to improve the performance of public officials is through accountability.
?The CSOs and the media had become significant channels for effective use of social accountability tools,? he added.
He said as a social accountability tool, the community score card is not about finger-pointing or blame game.
He said one benefit of using the tool is that it encourages community participation and enhances the culture of constructive dialogue.