A project, which aims to address current governance challenges affecting the effective delivery of basic education and health services in poor communities in Ghana through improvement in budget planning, execution and monitoring systems, has been launched in Accra.

Making the Budget Work for  GhanaThe four-year project dubbed: ‘Making the Budget Work for Ghana’ is being funded by the World Bank under its Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) initiative and implemented by SEND-Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), and a subsidiary of the Social Enterprise Development (SEND) Foundation of West Africa.

The project objective is aligned with Pillar 2 of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) which places an emphasis on transparent and accountable governance. Speaking at the launch of the project in Accra, yesterday, Mr Peter Ahlijah, Head of Planning, Ministry of Education, pledged the commitment of government to partnering with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to provide the platform for citizens to make inputs into budget implementation.

Mr Ahlijah gave the assurance that the education sector would continue to involve the districts and communities in decision-making for the benefit of all.

Hon Wisdom Gidisu, Member of Parliament (MP) and Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, in a statement, noted that it was important for CSOs to involve Parliamentarians in projects and provide them with information in order for them to engage in effective debate and make the appropriate inputs when bills came before Parliament.

For his part, George Osei-Bimpeh, Country Director, SEND-GHANA, added that the project proposed to roll out a holistic approach, over the four-year period, to link budget planning and execution, and its impact on the intended delivery outcomes in the education and health sectors in 30 districts across the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Greater Accra regions.

More specifically, Mr Osei-Bimpeh said, the project aimed to empower CSOs and citizens with skills and knowledge to monitor budget planning and execution to ensure a more transparent, efficient and effective use of budgetary resources.

He said by working with citizens, the project would equip Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), as well as the Regional Co-ordinating Councils (RCCs), Ministries of Finance, Education and Health, with a stronger oversight capacity that would complement and strengthen their existing planning, monitoring and evaluation processes.

He added that the project was in support of government’s renewed commitment, as outlined in the National Decentralization Action Plan, to accelerate the decentralization process by directly contributing to improving public expenditure and financial system at the local level, strengthening social accountability mechanism and opening spaces for public participation, and for feedback towards better delivery of basic services in poor districts in Ghana.

Source: ISD (Aliyah Bayali)

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