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Anti-corruption coalition demands open data on development
NEWS | GACC News

Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Mrs. Beauty Emefa Narteh, has emphasized the need for district assemblies to prioritize service provision, and exercise effective supervisory roles over service providers within their districts.

 
Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Mrs. Beauty Emefa Narteh, has emphasized the need for district assemblies to prioritize service provision, and exercise effective supervisory roles over service providers within their districts.

This, she said, would ensure that service providers do effective work to the benefit of the citizenry.

“To do this effectively, channels must be created that allow regular interface between citizens, and service providers and duty-bearers. This helps to constantly align citizens’ desire for quality public goods and service delivery with duty-bearer accountability and responsiveness,” Mrs. Emefa Narteh noted last Wednesday in Accra when the GACC briefed journalists on an initiative tagged ‘I Am Aware’.

The “I AM AWARE” project, implemented by GACC in collaboration with CDD-Ghana, and with support from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, collects, analyzes, archives and disseminates free and user-friendly socio-economic data.

The aim is to empower citizens with this information to demand for improved service delivery and accountability.

According to the executive secretary, government must work together with the district assemblies in addressing the major challenges and key issues affecting the 216 districts in the country.

“The resources made available for developing the various districts are very scarce. We must know what the real issues affecting our districts are, understand those issues and ask the right questions to keep duty-bearers on their toes,” she explained.

In addition, Mrs. Emefa Narteh revealed that data collected at district levels must be made available to the citizenry so that they can track the level of development in the localities.

“Data collected at district levels should not be the preserve of the government only, it should be made available to the citizenry! That way, citizens are able to track developments in their areas, and effectively engage duty-bearers and service providers.”

“The current situation where some engagement is done (assembly-citizens interface) is limited only to discussions on plans for development projects. There is limited space to discuss current performance of districts in key areas such as health, education, sanitation, water, security,” the GACC boss observed.

She is convinced that ‘I Am Aware’ project has provided the database for this and added that, “Citizens through the current project have started engaging duty-bearers based on this database and are beginning to make resolutions and taking actions for improvement.”

Mrs. Emefa Narteh called on government, particularly at the sub-national level, to take the initiative to use such current, specific data to account to its citizenry and institutionalize such engagement platforms for sustainability.

Bright Sowu, Senior Research Officer at GACC, indicated that “Generally, the citizens engaged were of the opinion that service provisions in the districts were not satisfactory. Citizens were particularly concerned with the poor state of affairs in sectors such as education, health and sanitation.”

Awal Mohammed, Research Officer at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), reiterated the need for government to make data and access to information readily available for all citizenry.

“Access to data is very difficult in our part of the world. Even when the data is published, people still don’t understand it. Data collected by using our taxes must be made available to us. How our resources are being expanded by government must be made known,” he pointed out.

Source: http://businessdayghana.com/anti-corruption-coalition-demands-open-data-development/

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