With the aim of enhancing social accountability and advocacy to improve public services at the local level, the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has organized a training programme for 22 volunteers of the ‘I Am Aware’ (IAA) project. The volunteers were drawn from the Greater Accra, Volta and Eastern Regions.
The programme was organized to sensitize the volunteers on how to use IAA data to do advocacy at the local level.
The ‘I Am Aware’ project is a non-partisan citizen empowerment campaign instituted to provide free, accessible and user-friendly data on the state of public goods and public service delivery in 216 districts across the 10 regions of Ghana. The data covers the state of, and provision of basic education, health, water, sanitation, security, roads and agriculture in the country. The goal of the project is to increase the awareness of citizens, particularly the poor and vulnerable to empower them to engage with duty bearers to ensure that public services are delivered and improved.
Mawusi Dumenu, team lead for the IAA volunteers’ engagement, lauded the engagement level of the participants and their zeal to make a difference in their communities.
“Participants shared their experiences about previous efforts in engaging duty bearers,” he said. “The IAA team and district partners also shared useful lessons with the participants. I believe the foundation has been laid for volunteers to begin to conduct well informed advocacy for improved public service delivery in their various districts.”
Akim Djaneye-Kpandja, Project Coordinator for Omega Project Management Foundation, a district partner of IAA in the Central Tongu and Adaklu districts in the Volta Region was optimistic that the involvement of community members in the project will keep public service providers on their toes.
The participants described the training programme as enlightening and pledged their commitment to work towards achieving the goals of the project in their respective districts.
“The training was very beneficial because it has helped me to understand what is expected of me as a volunteer. I am more poised to detect the deficiencies in the provision of public service in my district and demand accountability from my leaders,” Charity Ayitey, an IAA volunteer from Ablekuma South said.