- On May 5, 2015
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SEND-GHANA has organised a regional level meeting with District Citizens Monitoring Committees (DCMCs) to discuss issues bordering on anti-corruption.
The meeting which was held in Wa last week,was organized to strengthen and align five existing citizen groups (Anti-Corruption Champions) across Upper West Region to strengthen the partnership and also build their capacities to engage governance institutions at that level.
The meeting which was organised by SEND-GHANA’s Upper West Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Network (PM&E) for 60 DCMCs forms part of Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening (ADISS) Project to renew and build upon efforts to increase the abilities of anti-corruption Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in order for them to motivate the public to apply pressure on policy makers and institutions with the view to reducing corruption in Ghana.
Speaking at the training, Madam Akua Zakaria, Wa Municipal Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) admitted that the meeting had awakened organizations like NCCE to do more on corruption. “It is an issue that exists but we don’t talk much about it. I have seen the need to go all out and talk about it. We have realised that most of the problems of this country is as a result of our corrupt behavior. If the resources given to us were used well, maybe we wouldn’t be in the situation we are now.”
There is the fear of being victimized for reporting acts of corruption and the project therefore seeks to protect the identity of citizens who report these.
Madam Zakaria believes that if everybody understands the issue of corruption well, then there will be no need to hide the identity of people who report corrupt practices.
“From here, the NCCE will embark on an education campaign to explain the concept of corruption because we may be engaged in corrupt practices unknowingly,” she added.
On his part, Mr. Adamu Mukaila, Programme Officer of SEND-GHANA, said the three organisations will mount reasonable amount of pressure on dormant government anti-corruption institutions to take action on corruption-related referrals reported to them by citizens.
He is of the view that, the online reporting platform that has been created will enable anti-corruption champions to report issues of corruption without being victimized will help protect unnecessary attacks on whistleblowers and increase the fight against corruption.
Over the last decade, Ghana has developed and implemented several anti-corruption initiatives, passed a number of anti-corruption laws and ratified international conventions. Ghana has also established accountability institutions and a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) has been developed recently.
Despite these efforts, corruption has persisted and there has been little progress in reducing it.
Through a number of targeted, focused initiatives, the Consortium will invigorate citizens to engage more actively in anti-corruption reporting and advocacy.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded ADISS Project is being implemented by Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and SEND-GHANA.