Accra, Sept. 7, GNA – A two-day African Regional Capacity Building Workshop for members of Social Watch Coalitions on the continent began in Accra on Wednesday.
It is to strengthen the capacity of members to actively monitor the implementation of social policies and programmes by their governments.
The workshop will help equip members with the necessary tools and skills needed to monitor and hold governments and international organisations accountable for the implementation of commitments on gender equity and poverty reduction.
It also seeks to strengthen the capacity of national coalitions to campaign effectively for social policy change and increase social accountability for governments, while improving the quality of national reports produced on poverty, gender, and social development.
The workshop is envisaged to build the skills of participants to engage in meaningful dialogue and co-operation with authorities about anti-poverty and gender policies including budgeting and budget oversight.
Addressing the opening session, Dr Akua Britwum, Convenor NETRIGHT, said the training was important because it would enable members working in diverse fields to share their experiences to enhance the in-built monitoring systems and mechanisms.
She said the task of monitoring governments on how they were living to the commitments of provision of the basic necessities of life required a concerted effort to ensure that the task of accountability was performed creditably.
Dr Britwum expressed the hope that the workshop would enhance the capabilities of members of social watch coalitions to raise public awareness on social development issues, contribute to shaping the national and international debate through the media.
Dr Yao Graham, Co-ordinator of Third World Network, said the goal of Social watch was to hold government, UN System and international organisations accountable for the fulfilment of national, regional and international commitments to eliminate poverty.
He said Social Watch through its monitoring mechanisms had over the years helped to promote people centered sustainable development.
Social Watch, an international network of citizens organisations established in 1995, is devoted to the elimination of poverty and end to all forms of discrimination.