SEND–Ghana, an advocacy Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has initiated a move to track and monitor the action plans put in place by stakeholders to fight corruption in the country.
The stakeholders included senior staff from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Police, the National Commission for Civic Education, representatives of political parties, the district assembly, Persons with Disability, the Media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), traditional and religious leaders, who had each drawn up their action plans, after a forum, to tackle corruption.
The one day Policy Dialogue forum held at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region to disseminate the findings of a Survey Report on Knowledge, Perception and Experiences of Corruption in the Kassena-Nankana West District.
Some of the key action plans drawn up by the stakeholders of the respective districts included intensifying public education on corruption, displaying the expenditure of financial statements of assemblies, scaling up Town Hall meetings, using the Churches and Mosques, schools, traditional council and the media to educate people on the appropriate quarters to report corruption cases. They also gave time frame for their action plans which are expected to be monitored and tracked by SEND-Ghana and its partners.
The forum, organized by SEND-Ghana, was aimed at sharing the findings of the survey report with stakeholders, elicit their views and commitments on how to address issues raised in the report as well as develop an action plan based on the commitment for an effective follow up.
A Senior Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, Mr Gregory Tiigah, said SEND-Ghana as an advocacy group , had over the past years used the Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Framework tool to ensure that policy makers and the government implemented pro-poor policies and programmes to benefit the vulnerable in society.
He told the stakeholders that the Policy Dialogue on Knowledge, Perception and Experiences of the Corruption survey report formed part of the Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening (ADISS) project, being implemented by the Ghana Integrity Initiative Consortium comprising SEND-Ghana, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Mr Tiigah, explained that the project sought to renew and build upon on-going efforts and also increase the capacities of anti-corruption CSOs to motivate citizens to apply pressure on policy makers and institutions through a number of targeted and focused actions with the aim to reduce corruption in Ghana.
The districts involved include Kassena-Nankana Municipal, Kassena-Nankana West, Bolgatanga Municipal, Bawku West and the Bawku Municipal.
Whilst majority of the respondents saw bribery, embezzlement and fraud as corruption, they did not see the payment for facilitation to access public service, nepotism and abuse of discretion as corruption.
The Survey was facilitated by the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability- Ghana (ORGIIS), an NGO in the District.
Assistant Director of Administration of the District Assembly, Mr Aborigo Maxwell, who lauded the initiative of the project, noted that it would help accelerate the development of the districts.