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The Performance Accountability Activity (PAA), a five-year Activity funded by USAID, supports local organizations, women and youth groups, and traditional and religious leaders in advocating for improved public service delivery. It also enhances the responsiveness of service providers to citizens' demands for quality essential services, particularly in basic education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, and fisheries. PAA is implemented by Democracy International (DI) in close collaboration with the Government of Ghana partners and local CSOs, including CEWEFIA, sub-awardee, leading activity implementation in the Central Region.

CEWEFIA in collaboration with the Central Regional Coordinating Council organized a Regional Sensitization Workshop to sensitize stakeholders about the USAID/Ghana Performance Accountability Activity which would be implemented in some selected communities in the Central Region. The workshop occurred on 28th May 2024 at the Banquette Hall of the Regional Coordinating Council. The workshop convened various participants including representatives from the Regional Coordinating Council, Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies, CSOs, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, influential leaders, and representatives from Democracy International. The main aim of the Central Regional Sensitization Workshop was to sensitize major stakeholders and the media about the USAID/Ghana Performance Accountability Activity to identify the obstacles to demanding responsive service delivery and to develop solutions with MMDAs.

The workshop was officially commenced with a chairperson acceptance speech from Osabarima Dr. Nana Kwesi Attah II who gracefully chaired the workshop with his guidance. This was followed with a welcome address by Madam Richlove Amamu on behalf of the Central Regional Minister Hon. Justina Marigold Assan (Mrs.). She gave a brief on the PAA and its importance to support government and non-governmental organizations and the acceptance of the PAA by the Regional Coordinating Council. She affirmed that by the end of the five-year implementation, the activity would have achieved its objectives, and further encouraged all major stakeholders involved not to relent in ensuring quality service delivery.

Addressing attendees at the workshop, the PAA Program Officer, Abraham Asare on behalf of the PAA Deputy Chief of Party, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, emphasized the project's core objectives to enhance the capacity of Government partners, including sector agencies, district assemblies, CSOs, and community-based organizations, to implement behavior-led capacity-building and institutional strengthening interventions.

The Project Manager for CEWEFIA, Mr. Justice Kanor Tetteh walked the stakeholders through the PAA work plan and the next activities to be implemented following the Regional Sensitization Workshop. He emphasized the use of the SBS approach in implementing the project to ensure that the PAA objectives are well achieved.

He mentioned the formation of the Project Accountability Committee involving crucial stakeholders in the five thematic areas. This was followed by a question-and-answer session that was met with great participation from stakeholders who asked very important questions and gave insightful recommendations and comments regarding the effective implementation of the PAA.

A breakout session was conducted putting the stakeholders in different groups of similar expertise to deliberate and identify opportunities, anticipate potential barriers, and explore strategies to overcome these barriers in the five thematic areas. The State Actors addressed the bottlenecks in accountability interventions, with a particular focus on approaches employed by Civil Society Organizations and other development partners. Some bottlenecks they identified included; duplication of efforts or interventions with state actors, and CSOs do not often work following the existing structures of state actors. They also provided recommendations which included; regular sensitization/training for community members, and CSO’s activities should be validated by state actors before implementation.

The Youth leaders/Anti-corruption advocates identified challenges including; division among the youth due to traditional and political influences, and the youth not being engaged in decision-making processes. They also recommended that there should be more youth engagement, involvement of the youth in decision-making in all 5 thematic areas, provision of adequate training and opportunities for the youth to air their views, and the provision of training for the youth on the proper channels for reporting their grievances.

The CSOs discussed interventions including empowering communities on accountability, regular interface meetings, and more local media engagements. Some lessons they shared included, involving district assemblies, and understanding communities to inform how to engage them. They also stated that CSOs should be transparent to communities.

The Traditional Authorities and Assembly members stated that infrastructural deficits, political interferences, and teacher inadequacy are among the challenges they encounter. Some interventions they gave were more infrastructure should be provided, sensitization on WASH, and attitudinal change.

There was a plenary discussion after the breakout sessions with group leaders presenting the discussions in each group with all group members affirming their commitment and buy-in of the PAA by signing under the Stakeholder Buy-In, Commitment, and Support Sticker provided by CEWEFIA. There were media interactions with invited media houses including Radio Central, Asaase Radio, and Daily Graphic.

It was a successful workshop!!!


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