Tamale, April 30 GNA - SEND-GHANA, in collaboration with Star Ghana, on Tuesday organised a validation workshop on draft guidelines on the relationship between Traditional Authorities and District Assemblies.
The event, held in Tamale, was to review, discuss and verify modalities of the guidelines for District Assemblies and Non-State Actors (NSA) engagement.
It was also to broaden stakeholders' horizon, to understand and obtain buy-in local government actors in the implementations of guidelines.
Mr John Nkaw, Northern Regional Programme Officer of SEND-GHANA, said Ghana`s National Decentralisation Action Plan of 2010 provided for the involvement of NSA in local governance as one of the 10 areas with the policy objective to strengthen the roles and relationships between traditional authorities and civil society groups in local governance.
He said the participation of traditional authorities in sub-national structures was also provided in composition of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) where two chiefs would be elected by their peers from the Regional House of Chiefs as members.
He mentioned that the traditional authorities would continue to remain important controllers of resources for local level development, because they had influence over their citizens and also had implications for mobilizing people and representation of the public interest.
Mr Nkaw said the traditional authorities have advocated for more and clearer roles they play in local government arrangements.
Some Chiefs and District Assemblies raised some concerns that they have not always been informed sufficiently about certain decisions or projects being implemented in their jurisdictions by central government.
Some arrangements regarding concessions of natural resources have been made without our involvement, orenough notice to them they added
Mrs Magdalene Kannae, Head of Gender and Social Development Centre, under the Institute of Local Government Studies, said the New Decentralization Policy framework indicated that the 20 years of implementation of the assembly system has brought out the areas that need further clarification, including the mode of consultation between Assemblies and Traditional Authorities, economic and social groupings.
She said the Institute of Local Government Studies draft guidelines, which was developed in 2013, were generated from various consultations, interviews and submissions on traditional authorities and local governance in Ghana from individuals, as well as groups and stakeholders.
She said a number of issues were identified as requiring attention in ensuring effective cooperation for smooth and mutually beneficial relationships between traditional and local authorities.
Mrs Kannae said the focus of the guidelines was to address the issues on Protocol-related issues between Assembly functionaries and traditional authorities at the local level.
She said the guidelines also deal with monitoring and accountability of local development, infrastructural and service delivery initiatives.
She stated that the guidelines were also to promote human rights observance, and also to reduce harmful socio-cultural practices in the society.
Mrs Kannae said the guidelines also serve as information dissemination, capacity building and knowledge management for traditional authorities at the district level..