Government committed to support CSOs to champion social accountability initiatives
Government of Ghana is very committed in supporting Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in championing social accountability initiatives by involving the citizenry in local government activities.
In the wake of this, a two-day workshop was organized by four CSOs dubbed, “institutionalizing social Accountability in local governance: the successes, gap and the way forward” in Accra to deliberate on how to involve citizens in local governance.
Mr. Edward Dua Agyemang, Board Chairman of Ghana Audit Service who represented the Senior Minister, Yaw Osarfo Maafo, said, government will continue to support Civil Society Organizations (CSO) because the Nana Addo led government believes in Accountability.
“We support CSOs-led social accountability initiatives because we believe in the partnership between government and the citizenry,” he stated.
According to Mr. Dua, the fight against corruption is paramount, that is the reason why citizen participation in development has been stipulated in the law.
He explained that, social accountability is recognized globally to be a tool in fighting corruption, as well as increasing citizen and government engagement, “Our commitment to the use of social accountability is evident in the social accountability program hosted by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development reiterating the fact that, through that program government has empowered metro, municipals, and district Assemblies to ensure that, there is value for money.”
Mr. Dua Agyemang further said, globally and nationally, there has been efforts mainstreaming citizens’ engagement and feedback within service delivery, and governance activities have also been initiated while CSOs have partnered with government in different ways to implement a number of accountability projects where by citizen feedback was used to solve fundamental developmental challenges and to strengthen the performance of public institutions and service delivery, mostly at the local level.
“Also the citizens are empowered to hold public office holders to account by the supreme Audit Institution in Ghana by making it findings whether positive and negative accessible to the general public”, Mr Marfo said.
“We applaud CSOs for promoting social accountability in the public sector but also for mobilising citizens especially, the poor and marginalised groups to take ownership of government programmes to ensure improvement in services delivery,” he commended.
There is the need to design better approaches and improve on existing ones to increase citizen participation and empowerment for better health, education, resource utilization, agriculture, and overall development of communities and districts in Ghana, which is in line with SDG 16 and as well places more emphasis on the role of citizen action in building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.
Deputy Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Dr. Franklin Oduro, on his part said, “this forum forms part of the global and national agenda to increase citizen’s engagement and feedback in service delivery, as well as governance processes, most especially at the local level.”
According to him, access to information on local government development plans, and budgeting systems remains very weak. “There is still the need for all stakeholders to work together to help improve the system of information flow and accountability and enhance the voice of citizens in demanding accountability.”
In attendance of the first Social Accountability Multi Stakeholders Forum to sharing information on best practices involving social accountability in countries, were government officials, local governance experts, and civil society groups from West African sub-region.
The forum was organized by Send-Ghana, CDD-Ghana, Penplusbytes and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, and formed part of projects sponsored by the Global Partnership for Social Accountability of the World Bank and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
By Sammy Adjei|Ghananewsone.com