A project dubbed: Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) was, on Tuesday, launched in Accra.


The five-year project, which is to be implemented in 100 districts across the ten regions of Ghana, is designed to strengthen social accountability by improving information to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to enhance their capacity to demand accountability.The goal of the project is to strengthen citizens' oversight of capital development projects to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance.


It is being funded by the Government of the United States of America through its development agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and executed by a consortium of three locally-based Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)— Care International Ghana, IBIS Ghana and the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC).


In a keynote address, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Alhaji Collins Dauda, commended USAID for the initiative which, he said, offered a unique opportunity for re-assessing citizens’ involvement in the transparency and accountability processes at the district level.


Hon. Dauda added that the implementation of the project best illustrated the need for improving accountability and transparency in the governance process and marked a deviation from the past, where international organizations were mostly selected to implement such programmes or projects.


He stressed the need to work together towards strengthening social accountability to ensure that quality services were delivered to all Ghanaians, adding that empowering local citizens to monitor capital development projects to improve service delivery deserved the support of all.


Mr Andy Karas, USAID Director, in a statement, said the project was a response to the call for accountability and efficient public resource management by President Mahama.


In a welcome address, Amb. Elkanah Odembo, Country Director of Care Ghana, noted that lack of accountability was the cause of the level of poverty and marginalization of large numbers of African people, adding that development could only be meaningful and inclusive, where there was a responsible government and an empowered people.


In his remarks, a Minister of State at the Presidency and Chairman for the occasion, Mr Oppong Fosu, stressed the need for partnerships between the citizens and the public sector to ensure accountability.


Mr Fosu noted that there could not be accountability without responsibility and urged the project executors to define the levels of responsibility under the project and prescribe a sanctions regime and mechanism.


He added that in working towards the collective interest of the country and for an effective and efficient project execution, lessons learnt from previous projects should be incorporated in the GSAM project.


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)

Created: 02 July 2015
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