Fifty district assemblies and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) under the Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) have undergone training on effective use of social media.
The project is a five-year project from 2014 to 2019 that seeks to strengthen citizens’ oversight of capital projects to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance in one hundred districts in Ghana.
The project is part of efforts to ensure the MMDAs are transparent in delivering on their mandates and to fight corruption.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding the project but it is being implemented by Care International, Oxfam in Ghana and the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), together with the Ghana audit service and 27 other CSOs.
As part of the objectives of the project, the consortium is implementing an interrelated set of interventions to increase interaction between citizens and assemblies and citizen’s access to information on MMDAs capital projects.
The project is also expected to support evidence-based advocacy on bottom-up oversight through targeted campaigns using social media, radio, billboards and the press.
Chief of Party (COP) for the Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM), Clement Andoh says, “In this era of advances in communication technologies, social media certainly offers a unique platform for citizens and district assemblies to establish regular dialogue”.
He believes this will also help curb the situation where residents agitate over lack of developmental projects in the country.
Mr Andoh said this during a two-day zonal forum for GSAM CSO partners and district assemblies from Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions held in Sunyani.
At the end of the day, the CSOs and district assemblies are expected to improve on the use of social media platforms to share information on capital projects and enable citizens to voice their concerns and experiences on capital projects in their districts.
The forums which will be replicated in other zones in the country to cover all the one hundred districts are focused on the following;
- Identifying appropriate social media platforms for promoting citizen-local government dialogue on capital projects
- How to make effective use of these social media platforms for citizen-local government dialogue on capital projects
- How to monitor, evaluate (measure success) and report on the use of social media
Mr Andoh indicates that at the end of the forums, the participants must improve their knowledge and skills in effective use of social media in other to be accountable to their citizenry at the local level.