Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) identified the lack of user-friendly data about the state of public goods and services as a major impediment to transparent governance. Citizens must be aware of how community leaders have been performing in order to participate fully in public life and decision-making. The lack of such organized data has been a hindrance to social accountability, with the general public often unable to track commitments by public officials and policymakers.
In order to improve the quality of public service delivery in Ghana, CDD-Ghana rolled out a long term project dubbed “I am Aware”, which seeks to build the capacity of state actors to improve their services and empower citizens with user friendly data on the state of public service (education, health, sanitation, Water, security and governance) delivery to demand accountability in their districts.
So as part of this empowerment process, Legal Resource Center with the mandate of disseminating the data in the Northern part of Ghana, entered into partnership with CDI because of our operational presence in the Upper West Region and our track record of implementing accountability initiatives. CDI’s role in this partnership is to disseminate user-friendly data on the state of public goods and services in three Districts thus: Nadowli-Kaleo, Lawra and Nandom.
To this end, CDI held a stakeholder briefing session with heads of all the decentralized departments in all three Districts so as to seek their endorsement and participation in the radio discussion and town hall meetings.
During these meetings, participants lauded the initiative and suggested that the chiefs and chairpersons of the various area councils be invited to participate in the town-hall meeting so as to give a fair geographic representation. Participants saw the town-hall meeting as an opportunity to receive feedback from the beneficiaries of their services as succinctly stated by a participant “you know once we are the service providers, it might be difficult for us to tell where we are getting it right and where we are getting it wrong so when we have an interface with our constituents, we can together fashion out more responsive public services that will meet their needs”
The town-hall meetings and radio discussions will see public officials account for their stewardship, respond to questions from the general public, identify problems confronting the various sectors and profess solutions to problems so identified.