The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) has trained thirty-two (32) women to Monitor Pro-Poor projects in the Jirapa and Shai Osudoku Districts. This will help them appreciate the effort of the district in promoting development on one side and foster the desire to honor tax obligations and demand accountability on the other.
The two (2) training programs were held under the “Domestic Revenue Mobilization (DRM) Enhancement through Citizen Engagement” project with support from OXFAM in Ghana. The training seeks to empower women groups to influence implementation of pro poor approaches and at the same time contribute to increased revenue for the target districts. The program is part of FOSDA’s human security mandate to minimize threats arising from poverty and human insecurity.
Sixteen (16) participants each in the target districts were oriented on key Local Governance concepts such as decentralized planning; budgeting and revenue management. Other topics focused on good governance; civic engagement and social accountability.
In the Jirapa, the Revenue Superintendent, Mr. Caesar Abass noted that the DRM project since inception in 2018 has contributed significantly to improving revenue in the district. He was of the view that women are crucial in development and that their participation in decision making is key in promoting good governance. He added that FOSDA through the project has helped the assembly mobilize over GHS 100,000.00 in 2019 and also strengthened the capacity of Revenue Collectors in the districts.
In his closing remarks he noted that “citizens must endeavor to know what the district is using their monies for in order to reduce apathy and hate in the assemblies work. In all of this, women who are substantial contributors of IGF through business permits and market tolls must know what those monies are used for”
In Shai Osudoku, a note delivered from excerpts of a statement by the District Chief Executive called on the residents to appreciate the effort of the district in delivering services since the IGF generated is still low to support others external funds to support development in the district. The note indicated that the citizens must first contribute more to help the district raise adequate funds so that development can be fast delivered.
The training component of meeting focused a hybrid template developed by FOSDA. It focuses on monitoring pro poor projects in the education; health, water, sanitation, electricity and other sectors that poor people require in their daily lives.
The monitoring template is a 9X5 matrix with variables on name of project; location of project and assembly member; physical development among others. There was a role play on the monitoring templates and its usage. This help participants under how it will be applied during the monitoring visit.
Participants described the training program as an eye opener and called for more opportunities to participate in the local governance process.
Two (2) monitoring visits will be conducted in 3rd and 4th quarters of 2021. This will be followed by duty bearers and media engagements on the findings.