GNA tracks development projects to enhance accountability

GNAThe Ghana News Agency (GNA) is to embark on media auditing and tracking of development projects in some selected Districts, as part of efforts to enhance accountability and deepen grassroots participation in local government.

The project seeks to improve policy management and decision making system in the country to ensure that policy analysis processes, impacts and the feedback systems necessary for effective executive decision making are adhered to.

The project, sponsored by STAR-Ghana,  a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism with support from DFID, DANIDA, the EU and USAID is focused on three districts each in Eastern and Brong Ahafo regions.

In an interview in Accra, Dr Bernard Otabil,  General Manager of the Ghana News Agency said the selected districts were to be used as part of the process aimed at developing an efficient and effective public accountability tool, as well as provide in-depth reportage on activities of the District Assemblies.

He said Ghanaian citizens were either victims or beneficiaries of development interventions  and for the country to attain its development objectives, citizens should have inputs into the development processes.

“Governments all over the world have lean and effective systems for measuring policy impacts and therefore this project could become effective in providing feedback on  the impact of pro-poor interventions at the District levels.

“Infact, it is also to give meaning to the broader mandate of the Agency that seeks to harness information  to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state,” he stated.

Dr Otabil said the Agency was using its communication strength to mobilise the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

The General Manager said analysts in other countries were backed by a sophisticated system of linkages with media that had national reach and that it should also be the practice in Ghana.

“Ghana’s policy process is not different from what exist in other countries. The challenge, however, is the lack of effective interface with the media to understand the issues and also the articulation and communication required to ensure that feedback to policymakers was not only timely but also useful,” he stated.

He said the project would encourage citizens to hold accountable those entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring  project ownership and sustainability.


Dr Otabil noted that though the objective of the decentralisation policy in Ghana was to give the ordinary citizen a role to play in local governance, in practice, the ordinary citizen seemed left out in the entire process. noting that in some instances elected representatives failed to organise meetings at the community level to listen to the views and concerns of citizens; district level authorities failed to consult communities on their needs, and significantly, there also appeared to be no channel to ensure that the voice of the people was heard.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, the Project Coordinator said the Agency was using the project to enhance the capacity of GNA Reporters and Stringers to be able to conduct in-depth reportage on the operations of the District Assemblies vis a vis their policy direction.

He said the Agency was also using the project to widen the scope of social participation and media auditing at the district levels through participatory democracy and local participation in governance in a bid to tighten the link between policy formulators, implementers and beneficiaries.

Mr Ameyibor explained that the Agency would, with effect from November, embark on capacity building of its reporters and stringers in media auditing and tracking of development projects as part of preparations towards the project.


Source: GNA

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