Accountability Award
Accountability Award

Action for Sustainable Development (ASUDEV), a not-for-profit organisation has launched its maiden edition of the Social Accountability Media Awards in Wa.

The award is for members of the Upper West Regional branch of the Media Network for Social Accountability which comprises 12 print and broadcast media organisations and their editorial staff.

Entries must fall within June, 2018 to March, 2019 and the deadline for submission of work is 9th April, 2019.

Mr Francis Akabo Asodina, Programmes Coordinator for ASUDEV who launched the award scheme in Wa said the award was meant to honour media organisations and individual journalists that excelled in the area of social accountability and citizens’ participation.

It was also meant to spur the media on to continue to do more to improve accountability, reduce corruption and strengthen the decentralisation system in Ghana, he said.

He explained that the award formed part of the implementation of the Citizens Action for Accountable Governance (CAAG) project; an initiative coming on the heels of the Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) project.

Mr Asodina said the benefits of social accountability were numerous and included; increased quality of local governance, enhanced effectiveness and quality of service delivery, and ensured prudent financial management as in maximising resource utilisation and securing value for money.

He said gingered up citizens to fulfil their financial responsibilities via the payment of taxes and rates, increased citizen empowerment and ensured incorporation of concerns of the vulnerable.

He mentioned lack of political will, undue mistrust, unmanaged expectations of citizens, limited access to information, low capacity of civil society groups and government institutions, perceived or real corruption, and skewed citizen representation as some of the challenges of social accountability.

Mr Abraham Sigenye, Programmes Officer for ASUDEV said a lot of work had been done on social accountability in the region by civil society, but noted that minimal impact had been achieved so far.

He said this was because participation in social accountability fora by citizens in the region was still low and called on the media to help sensitise the public to understand the importance of social accountability and why they must participate.

“People are still afraid to demand accountability from duty bearers for fear of being tagged or victimised”, he emphasised.

Mr Sigenye noted therefore that CAAG was therefore focused on how to get duty bearers accountable to citizens in order to bring about good governance.

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