EU

Civil Society Organisations were on Wednesday advised to deal with poor internal organizational structure and administrative weaknesses that bedeviled some of the organisations  in order to achieve their potential in the national development arena.

They are also expected to address issues of inadequate capacity to organise and mobilise constituencies in support of their advocacy interventions.

Mr Claude Maerten, European Union (EU) Head of Delegation, gave the advice at the Information Session for Call for Proposals under the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities programme organized by the Union in Accra.

He said the EU expected civil society organisations to put in much effort so as to have a sustained impact on public policies to ensure quality in the delivery of public goods and services.

Other areas included promotion of transparency and a culture of dialogue, playing an oversight and accountability role and to ensure internal accountability.

Mr Maerten said the EU was convinced that synergies between the state and civil society organisations could help address poverty, support equality, social inclusion and sustainable development, adding ?These synergies are key elements in reinforcing democratic governance?.

He indicated that the Union was supporting Government with a budget support project amounting to 45 million euros, on the decentralization reform.

Mr Maerten expressed the hope that the Call for Proposals would serve as a catalyst to foster the desired collaboration between local government and civil society organisations.

The thematic programme ?Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development? is a development policy instrument of the EU which focuses on the commitment to fight poverty and to promote the rule of law and adherence to fundamental freedoms.

The programme promotes the EU?s policy of encouraging and supporting long-standing partnerships between the Union partner countries? non-state actor organisations and local authorities.

The objective is to facilitate their involvement in policy formulation and their capacity to deliver basic services to the poorest sections of the population in developing countries and to reduce poverty in a context of sustainable development.

Mrs Magdalene Kannae, Head of Gender and Social Development Centre at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) said the Institute with the support of the EU was co-ordinating a Social Accountability platform for local governance performance in Ghana.

He said the project, which was under the Ghana Decentralisation Support Programme, was aimed at providing a harmonized approach to promoting a comprehensive and coherent social accountability at the sub-national level in the country.

Mrs Kannae observed that the expected outcome of the programme included the increased performance of non-state actors and their networks in ensuring more effective and committed engagement of communities in local planning and decision making processes by local authorities, nationwide.

She said planned programmes for this year included the development of Social Accountability Local Government Website, skills building for social accountability and organising training programmes for social accountability processes for community-based organisations.

Source: GNA

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