Social Accountability is at the very heart of Decentralization and Local Governance Agenda of the Government of Ghana. There is therefore the need for programmes and projects geared towards building the capacity and knowledge of citizens/public officials for them to better understand public financial management policies and processes.

Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) is the project that has been introduced in Ghana to build the capacity and knowledge of citizens/public officials for better understanding of public financial management policies and processes for more effective engagement between state and non- state actors.

SPEFA is a learning and information sharing forum for citizens and MMA staff. The SPEFA project seeks to build an empowered group of citizens by enhancing their capacity to make purposive choice (agency) and identify with the institutional context in which they put forward such choices (opportunity structure).

Establishing networks of knowledgeable and capable groups of citizens is one important strategy of the project in mainstreaming and advocating social accountability among citizens, groups and the MMAs in the country. SPEFA is an initiative by the Government of Ghana, World Bank and SNV with many CSO/NGO’s serving as the local partners. Social Public Expenditure Financial Accountability was introduced in Ghana in the year 2013 and was to be facilitated by a Consortium of Civil Society Organisations led by SNV.

Project has been doing exceptionally well since its inception and has provided platforms for the citizenry to meet their Assemblies on matters of concern. The project has also helped in settling most differences and inequalities that existed between the Assemblies through making the activities of the Assemblies transparent and accountable. Citizens have also been empowered to take up the challenge and ensure the successful execution of the developmental processes in the various MMDA’s in the country.

As part of the monitoring and evaluating the SPEFA project, SNV in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government do organize SPEFA review meetings at the end every phase and year of the project. The SPEFA review meeting for 2016 (Phase two) was held on 29th and 30th November, 2016 in the Central Regional Capital, Cape Coast at the Pempamsie Hotel. The two day program witnessed participants from Civil Society Organizations and MMDA’s all over the country.

Presentations and submissions were made by facilitators from SVN Ghana and other invited experts for the programme. The various presenters took the participants through participatory and interactive learning and ideas sharing processes which equipped the participant with various knowledge and skills. Below are some of the areas of concern; SPEFA implementation (successes and challenges), Building and maintaining Effective Governance Systems in Organizations, Understanding a governing document of an NGO from a legal perspective and its implications (constitution) and financial management of NGOs.

The meeting was climaxed with some award presentations to the participating Civil Society Organisations of which Center of Posterity Interest Organization was honoured with a certificate of merit in the Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA) Project as the most mobilizer of citizens in the SPEFA Forums organized in 2016, SPEFA Phase Two in the Techiman Municipal Assembly.
Center of Posterity Interest Organization (COPIO) is a non-governmental organization operating in Ghana and has its head office in Techiman of the Brong Ahafo Region.

Centre of Posterity Interest Organisation (COPIO) as a vibrant organization, has been operating as a community action group since 2003, but was formally registered as a Non-Governmental Organization in June 2008. It is a Ghana based development organization that seeks to promote self-development within marginalized groups and communities irrespective of their religious affiliation. We work with community and motivated individuals with the aim of building their capabilities to provide for themselves.

The vision of COPIO is to enhance the living standards of the Ghanaian vulnerable. Our mission is to mobilize resources from local and external sources in support of the vulnerable, (the poor, unemployed, orphans and the sick amongst others); to carry out projects that will address the challenges and problems lowering their living standards in Ghanaian communities.

The Executive Director of COPIO Mr. Mustapha Maison Yeboah was presented with the certificate of merit from SNV Ghana and thanked the organizers for honouring him together with his organization as well as Techiman Municipality. He further on stated that the achievement would not have been possible without support and contribution from various individuals and groups and institutions therefore, he took the opportunity to dedicate the award to those setups.

The Board and staff of COPIO on this note want to show our sincere gratitude to Techiman Municipal Assembly; MCE, Coordinating Director, Planning and Budget Departments, Municipal National Commission for Civic Education, National Disaster Management Organization and the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development for opening their doors as well as supporting the organisation in the execution of its mandate in the SPEFA project.

More so, COPIO want to be thankful to the Techiman Traditional Council specially the chiefs and queen mother’s for their commitment and contribution towards to successful organization and execution of the various activities under the SPEFA projects in the Municipality. The religious bodies and organizations such as the Christian and Muslim Councils are also not left out because they have been very instrumental in the project processes through encouraging their members to participant actively in the project.

In addition, we would also want to appreciate the partnership between our organization and the University for Development Studies (UDS), specifically, the School of Business and Law and the Faculty of Education and for making available to us some of their students as interns in our organization. Only God knows how significantly these students have helped in the organization of Forums and Town hall Meetings as well as writing of reports as part of the SPEFA Project

Notwithstanding, we are also taking the opportunity to acknowledge and commend all Assembly Members, the good and cherished participants who did participation regularly and invited the friends and families to SPEFA Forums and Town hall meetings as well as our bankers Universal Merchant Bank Limited, Techiman Branch for their contributions directly and indirectly.

Finally we would also take the opportunity congratulate our able and up to the task staff for their immense and indefatigable contribution towards the successful accomplishment and completion of this year’s SPEFA project successfully. We therefore say bravo to COPIO and all and sundry for their commitment. All we can say is that long live Ghana, long live SPEFA, long live Techiman Municipal Assembly and long live COPIO and congratulations for the national award won

Source: COPIO

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