Brong Ahafo involves citizens in planning process

The Brong Ahafo Region has launched a project to involve citizens in the planning processes in metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).

The project is being implemented by the Social Development and Improvement Agency (SODIA), a non-governmental organisation, to address the issue of low involvement of citizens, particularly marginalised groups such as people with disabilities, women and the youth, in the decentralised planning processes in the Brong Ahafo Region.

A research conducted by SODIA in some of the rural communities in the region revealed that the sub-district structures on which participatory governance hinged were not properly developed.

This presupposes that the foundations of participation at the district level are weak and unsupportive of the decentralisation drive of the country.

The 12-month project, which is being sponsored by STAR-Ghana at a cost of US$ 80,000, started in January, this year, and will end in December. 

The project is being piloted in three districts in the region, namely Asutifi South, Tano South, and the Sunyani Municipality.

The project will ensure that the needs of citizens, particularly marginalised groups, are reflected in the Districts’ Medium Term Development Plans (DMTDPs) in the three districts.

It will also strengthen partnership with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Governance and Decentralisation, as well as the Regional Planning Co-ordinating Unit (RPCU), to promote citizen participation in the decentralised planning in the three districts.

The Executive Director of Social Development and improvement Agency, Mr Aziiz Issifu, who launched the project, explained that the project would enhance awareness of citizens in the development planning processes of the MMDAs.

He said the project activities would include planning, the development of terms of reference, and hiring of an external consultant to conduct baseline survey to establish project parameters.

He said the project organisers would hold baseline validation workshop and that there would be media engagement on the baseline survey at the district level to mobilise support for the project.

He said they would also organise interface meetings with the MMDAs to discuss Area Council Action Plans, as well as plan and carry out field monitoring in 12 communities in three MMDAs using jointly agreed indicators.

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