This is a summary of the project activities. To read more detail, look here.
As a manual to guide the various awareness raising and training sessions, we produced the booklet Empowering Local Communities and Civil Society to Demand Accountability.
Community awareness raising activities included:
- Awareness durbars by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Volta Region. The topics included: roles and functions of Community Support Groups and WATSAN Committees; how to use Community Score Cards to assess service provision in communities; and Community leadership to demand rights and accountability from the DAs
Community Score Card assessments of DAs’ progress on service provision (scorecard indicators included clean water facilities, public toilets, schools, health centres, and waste disposal); and communities’ opinions on development needs and priorities
- Radio programmes to discuss water and sanitation issues and raise awareness of people’s rights to basic services and who are their duty-bearers. The radio hosts invited resource persons such as DA officers and community opinion leaders to discuss issues of access to water and sanitation, community rights, and accountability of the DAs to the communities, and these were followed by phone-in sessions. Simli Radio near Tamale in the Northern Region produced a jingle especially for the programme so it would be instantly recognisable by listeners. Programmes were aired once a week in the morning at 8am and again in the evening when farmers returned from their farms.
Workshops for communities, community-based organisations (CBOs), CSOs, traditional authorities and Assembly persons (who are the link between the DAs and the local communities) focussed on:
- Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) to help communities in on-going monitoring of local development projects
- Roles and responsibilities of DAs, especially in providing basic services, and the rights of citizens to service provision
- Effective community leadership
- Skills for lobby, advocacy and negotiation
- Communication skills and skills of a good community facilitator;
- Policy dialogue, and skills and tools for engaging policy makers
Workshops for community stakeholders (communities, community-based organisations (CBOs), traditional authorities and Assembly persons) as well as District Assembly representatives, NCCE staff and media representatives, covering these topics:
- Rights: People’s rights to water and sanitation, the DAs’ role to provide clean water and sanitation facilities, and communities rights to demand these services from them
- Coalitions: Civil society networks and coalitions: what they are, why they are important, how to sustain them, and raising funds. The media’s participation here was very important to ensure strong links developed between themselves and the communities
so they support their advocacy actions. The media included: Might FM (Savelugu), Simli Radio (Kumbungu), Radio Savanna, Radio Justice and Zaa Radio, in the Northern Region, and the Ghanaian Times and Volta FM in the Volta Region.
- Budgets: DAs’ Budgeting Processes: overview of the assembly systems; planning and decision making; general assembly, committees and subcommittees; complaints; and coordination.
- Communication: Effective communication and its challenges; skills for establishing and improving communication; and tools for effective communication;
- Advocacy: Effective rights-based advocacy and tools; barriers to effective advocacy; and the importance of inclusiveness when determining communities’ needs and priorities
- Policy engagement: Policy dialogue, skills and tools; and tools and practices for DA and community engagement towards participatory governance.