Accra, Jan. 11, GNA – Action Voices, an NGO, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) to implement and replicate a Citizen-Government Engagement project.
Dubbed “Action Voices” the project would be undertaken in all the 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in Ghana.
The MoU seeks to among others strengthen the legal and policy framework supporting Citizens’ Participation and Engagement in local governance.
The partnership is to form a strong working relationship between Action Voices and NALAG to promote Citizen-Government Engagement at the District level, educate citizens about local governance and their responsibilities and provide capacity support for Local Authorities.
Mr Kokro Amankwah, the General Secretary, NALAG, speaking at the signing ceremony in Accra on Thursday said both parties have agree to closely work to improve citizens’ engagement and participation in local governance and to strengthen citizens-Government partnership for improved local governance.
He said it is important “we get other collaborators and partners to champion the cause of promoting local governance among citizens.”
He said Action Voices was the organisation that could help the assemblies involve citizens in most of their activities and also seek their opinion before executing most of their programmes and policies.
Mr Amankwah said the President’s move for the election of DCE was laudable, since the citizen would get the opportunity to elect whoever would govern them.
“It’s a step in the right direction, because NALAG is poised to continue to champion local governance in the country,” he added.
Mr Lord Asante Fordjour, the Executive Director of Action Voice, told the GNA that the organisation would play a lead role in the development and execution of documented strategies and systems aimed at promoting Citizen-Government Engagements.
He said it would also develop user-friendly Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools to enhance citizens’ participation in governance and provide incentives and capacity for citizens to engage with governments to improve their policies and services.
Mr Fordjour said it would also provide capacity support and incentives for local level functionaries to respond to citizens' concerns and feedback, develop innovative ICT-solutions to enhance the work of Local authorities and undertake media engagement programmes to promote civic education and awareness of programmes and activities of local authorities.
He said the organisation wanted to scale up the project by adding other platforms, where citizens could engage with their local authorities, adding that “we are creating a virtual system for both the local authorities and citizens can connect and dialogue.”
The Executive Director said the country had the best local governance system in place but citizens’ participation was what had been lacking all these years, adding that “this is what Action Voices wants to bridge the gap between citizens’ and their local authorities.”
He said Action Voices have developed mobile technologies to support citizens’ participation, which they successfully piloted in La Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly and would seek to replicate that in other assemblies.