Local governance civil societies get boost

SEND-Ghana in partnership with the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) and the Local Governance Network has launched a project to maximise participation of non-state actors in local governance.

The project titled ”Maximizing the Participation of Non State Actors in Local Governance for Increased Accountability, Transparency and Responsiveness”, is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding key issues in local governance among multi-stakeholders.

It was launched at the Miklin Hotel on Wednesday January 28, 2014 with participation from representatives from the Ministry for Cheiftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Institute of Local Governance Studies, Local Governance Network and various Civil Society Organisations focused on local governance issues.

The Star-Ghana funded project, which will take a year to implement, is aimed at enhancing one of the key objectives of the Local Ministry’s National Decentralisation Plan, which is promoting “popular participation and deepen association and partnership between District Assemblies, civil society, private sector and Traditional authorities”.

Speaking at the event on Wednesday, Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Mr John Alexander Ackon lauded the SEND-Ghana initiative.

He underscored the need for active participation of non-state actors such as civil society organisations to shape and guide local governance efforts by government.

He said there is the need for civil society partnership in local governance to mitigate the recurrent clash between state actors, such as Chiefs and District or Municipal Chief Executives.

He however added that there was the need for a change of attitude among all stakeholders within the local governance sector since guidelines or laws alone would not effectively promote the local governance agenda.

During a review of the project,  Daniel Adotey, a Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, said the initiative is also aimed at supporting government in the decentralisation process.

He added that the project, which would proceed to the validation stage next month, would seek solutions to aspects of the decentralisation effort that has not been adequately addressed by government.

He noted that the project would provide a platform for “traditional authorities and other players to come together to discuss how they want to engage with the Municipal, Metropolitan and Districts Assemblies as well as the sector ministries which include Local Government and Rural Development Ministry and Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs Ministry on governance issues”

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