The French Embassy in Ghana on Tuesday called for proposals from Civil Society, Non-governmental Organisations and Assemblies, for the implementation of projects that were geared towards solving the development challenges at the decentralized levels.
Mr Frederic Clavier, the Ambassador of France to Ghana, who made the call at the official launch of the project in Accra, said applications would be accepted until 17.00 hours of March 16, 2015.
The initiative, he said, was to complement government’s developmental efforts, encourage participation in governance and increase citizens’ engagement with national and local authorities to improve governance in the country.
The project, which was on the theme: “Strengthening ties between Government, Civil Society and Citizens”, would also focus on the use of social accountability tools within the framework of approved Development Plans, both at the local and national levels, and also budgetary allocations.
Mr Clavier said the objective was to ensure that decisions makers followed development plans and manage budgetary allocations to development projects more judiciously and therefore the various proposals must ensure more transparent and accountable governance and improve service delivery.
According to Mr Clavier, each initiative must also clearly show an interaction with local authorities at levels such as the Unit Committee, District Assembly, District Administration and the Regional Coordinating Councils.
Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah, the Programmes Officer at the Centre for Democratic Development said a total support budget of 200,000 Euros, provided by the French Government, would be available for the implementation of the project, which spans over a three-year period, from November 2014 to July 2017.
He said the project, which would be in three phases, would be implemented by the CDD under a four- member Management Team.
The project would be implemented in eight out of the 216 Districts across the 10 administrative Regions and a total of eight citizens initiatives have been earmarked over the period.
He further explained that the current project, builds on earlier ones conducted by the CDD and the French Embassy in 2010 on the “Local Democratic Debate”, however the present project seeks to resolve challenges such as the lack of interest and participation in governance, especially at the local levels.
Mr Mensah said there were also reports of mismanagement of public resources, complaints of poor service delivery and the lack of information on acquisition and use of public resources, which had resulted in strong public perceptions of corruption, apathy in governance, especially at the local level, use of illegal means to demand accountability and poor public response to communal work among other things.
The project would focus on addressing some of the challenges raised and promote social accountability and enhance constructive engagement between civil society actors and decision makers, strengthen linkages between government, civil society and citizens, as well as improve information systems for citizens.
He said applications were opened to any registered CSO and NGO in Ghana, those that were affiliated to known Coalitions and Networks, with an added advantage for those with offices in the Regions and Districts.
He also called on interested applicants to check the Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times Newspapers or visit the CDD-Ghana website on www.cddgh.org or pick a hard copy of application forms from their office and for further information.