STAR Ghana, a multi-donor funding mechanism that has worked in Ghana over the past five years, says it has helped strengthen governance in the country.

star ghanaThe Strengthening Transparency and Accountability and Responsiveness (STAR Ghana) mechanism, which has also led to the strengthening of the performance of the oversight activities of parliament, is funded by the European Union (EU), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Kingdom government?s Department for International Development (DfID).

It aims to increase the influence of civil society and parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery.
Speaking to Xinhua on the sides of the End-of-Program Convention here, Tanko-Ibrahim Amidu, Program Manager and Team Leader for STAR Ghana, said the successes were seen in the strengthening of the governance institutions of state.
?We helped to set up the Scrutiny Office to enhance the work of parliament and also strengthened the various committees of parliament to help them play their oversight roles effectively,? Amidu stated.
STAR Ghana also supported Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to achieve greater effectiveness.
?The first part of the program officially came to an end this month while the second part kicks-off by September,? the Program Manager told Xinhua.
From its inception, STAR Ghana has awarded grants totaling 37.2 million U.S. dollars to its beneficiary institutions. These include 21 media organizations which received grants of over 1.7 million dollars for their activities towards the 2012 elections.
Speaking on the theme – The Role of Civil Society in Ghana – Akoto Ampaw, a renowned barrister and civil society activist, said there was the need for CSOs to adopt a new culture of self-determination and self-reliance.
He said this proposed new political and organizational culture was quite different from the dominant culture within Ghanaian CSOs.
?It requires the culture of self-reliance, relying on our own home-grown resources to support our work; it calls for conviction by members of the ethical social validation of their cause, its moral rightness and commitments,? Ampaw stated.
The new culture, according to him, also requires a readiness to move from the comfort zones to face persecutions, if necessary, and to sacrifice for the greater good of society.
Ampaw tasked the CSOs to develop the culture of building alliances and leveraging on each other?s strength to advocate around the issues of the Right to Information Bill and the Broadcasting Bill, while helping society to deal with corruption and the culture of impunity.
Partners of STAR Ghana took stock of their activities over the period of the program and drew useful lessons from their relationships.
From one of the group works, it was concluded that the strict enforcement of agreed processes under the STAR Ghana program made it possible to achieve the set targets at the end of the day, something the local CSOs believed could be of immense benefit to them in their future activities. Enditem

Source: Justice Lee Adoboe

Edited by Ray Ankomah

Justice Lee Adoboe
Senior Correspondent
Accra Bureau of the Xinhua News Agency

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