“Teere”, a Non-Governmental Organization, is embarking upon a series of programmes aimed at promoting citizen participation in local governance in the Upper East Region.
“Teere” (in the Gurune language literally means a total and positive transformation,) recently organized its first local governance forum in the Bongo District. The forum, which attracted a large crowd of participants, created a platform for the citizens to participate and engage with the assembly members and deliberated on the developmental challenges affecting the area.
Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh, the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, said one of the major obstacles confronting many of the Municipal and District Assemblies was lack of effective participation of citizens in the decision making process.
He said even though effective citizen participation was key to the effective implementation of programmes, projects and policies at the decentralization level, many people did not participate in the process.
Prof Nsoh said it was to help address this concern, that Teere, with support from the Robert Bosh Stiftung, a German based organization, is embarking upon organizing the series citizens’ participation in local governance forums across the thirteen districts of the region.
He said Teere and its partners including the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), would ensure that the concerns and inputs made at such forums were inserted into the medium term development plans of the respective assemblies.“As citizens you own it a duty to ensure that you contribute by making good inputs into the deliberations when it comes to development issues in your area. Don’t allow things like transportation allowances to dissuade you from participating in the development process”, he said.
Mr Issahak Sagito Anow, the Board Chairman of the NGO, said it would be impossible to achieve transparency and accountability, equal and fair development without the citizens engaging the duty bearers.Mr Gerhard Lauth, a leader of the GIZ Programme Support for ‘Decentralization Reforms in Ghana’ and also the Principal Advisor to the NGO, expressed regret that the Assemblies still depended heavily on the central government for funding with little involvement of the people.
He said there is a need for a paradigm shrift to create the necessary environment to allow more citizen engagements at the Assembly level.