The workshop was aimed at improving citizen’s participation in decentralization through social accountability tools and processes.
Citizen groups included traditional authorities, assembly members, youth groups, political activists and vulnerable groups including women and people with disabilities.
Topics discussed included basic facts on decentralization and local governance, the concept and meaning of governance and social accountability, its meaning and practice.
Leading discussions on social accountability on the fourth day where assembly members attended, Dr. Patrick Osei Kuffour, a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, urged the assembly members to understand the system of local governance.
“The time has come for assembly members to understand the system of local governance and also share information with the electorate as that will enhance social accountability,” he said.
Dr. Osei Kuffour appealed to the participants to involve the key actors in the locality including chiefs in their work as assembly members to speed up accountability practices.
Mr. Edward Forkuo Ampratwum, a Research Officer of CDD-Ghana, said there were so many challenges in the local governance which needed new ways of getting the district assemblies to satisfy the demands of the citizens without the people destroying state properties.
He stressed on information dissemination, saying, the citizens would behave positively should the assemblies make information available to them.
Mr. Ampratwum said one of the challenges facing the assemblies was over-reliance on the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) without improving on their internally generated revenue.
He appealed to the district authorities to be responsive to the demands of the citizens.
Mrs. Christian Kagya, a participant, called for capacity building of the assembly members to enable them know their responsibilities so that they could function more effectively.