By Samuel Akapule/Top News Ghana
Samuel Amo-Nimoh, the Regional Community Animator of Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP), has observed that the Social Accountability tool, applied by his outfit has contributed significantly to the effective implementation of the subprojects of GSOP.
Mr. Amo-Nimoh who made the disclosure during separate Social Accountability forums held in twelve Districts in the Upper East and Northern Regions, stated that many of the subprojects of GSOP have been implemented successfully and made significant impact on the livelihoods of the poor as a result of the robust mechanisms put in place by the Project to address grievances and issues concerning transparency and social accountability.
The rehabilitation of dams and dugouts, Climate Change mitigation activities, feeder roads among others, funded by the World Bank and the Government of Ghana are classified under the Labor Intensive Public Works (LIPW) component of the Project and seek to provide targeted poor rural households with access to employment and income-earning opportunities. The LIPW sets out to maximize local employment while rehabilitating productive infrastructure assets, which have potential to generate local secondary employment effects and protect households and communities against external shocks
Mr. Amo-Nimoh explained that the use of the Social Accountability tool which is a requirement in the implementation of the subprojects under LIPW of GSOP is to provide the platform for beneficiary communities, service providers and other duty bearers to review the progress and address concerns of all the parties with regards to project implementation.
He said as part of the Social Accountability procedures, citizens engagements are done right from the subprojects conceptualization, appraisal and design stages where the stakeholders are made to do validation before approval.
Mr. Amo-Nimoh stated that the full disclosure of project information including full cost of the subprojects, roles of various actors, rights and benefits are very critical in the operationalisation of Social Accountability.
He added that Transparency and Accountability Boards (TABs) have been mounted at all the project sites and populated with critical subproject information meant for beneficiaries and other community level stakeholders with the view to deepen transparency and to update the communities regularly on implementation issues.
The Community Animator mentioned the principal actors of the Social Accountability forums in GSOP operational areas as the Regional Coordinating Office of GSOP, District Assemblies, Contractors, Works Supervisors, Climate Change Focal Persons, Assembly Members , Traditional Authorities, Community Facilitators, Participating Financial Institutions(PFIs), and the Community at large.
“The twenty four Social Accountability forums recently facilitated by the Regional Directorate of GSOP provided the platforms for the stakeholders to assess and deliberate on the performances of all subprojects with the view of ensuring quality and efficient service delivery, elimination of leakages, effective participation, sharing of good practices and lessons, transparency and accountability. This is built around the Community Score Card tool with the provision of input tracking, performance, evaluation and interface”, Mr. Amo-Nimoh stressed.
According to the Community Animator, the abandoned communal spirit is being re-awakened through Social Accountability. This, he said, can be deduced from the zeal and high turnouts of the community members at social accountability forums and to take their own initiatives to work on some of the subprojects, demonstrating community ownership of the project and ensuring sustainability should the project end.
“The afforementioned confirm the
assertion that the importance of Social Accountability in GSOP operations cannot be overemphasized and I think the concept should be replicated by other agencies to help accelerate growth”, Amo-Nimoh stressed.
The concept and practice of Social Accountability was also lauded by some Traditional Authorities who participated in the forums.
“I wish to encourage all my community members to take the Mango Plantation as our own personal property for us to reap the maximum benefit now and in future. You should all do your very best for the survival of the trees as a way of demonstrating our appreciation of the huge investment by GSOP”, Naba Anyenaba Azaare, Chief of Feo in the Bongo District reaffirmed.
Similarly, in his welcome remarks, the Chief of Tenzuk in Talensi District, Naab Zotetere-Suhobazaa said, “we are grateful to the leadership of GSOP for combining local and traditional wisdom and prudent management practices by incorporating the views of my community members for improvement going forward”.
Again, the regent of Kpikpira in Garu-Tempane District, Ali Yaro also commented thus, “ we thank all stakeholders for making it possible for us to realize our dream as a community by assisting us to rehabilitate our dam. I encourage all stakeholders to support and cooperate with one another for timely and successful completion. I also urge the Rural Bank to always come and pay our people on time any time funds are released to them”.
Among some of the Districts where the Social Accountability Forums were held included Nabdam, Bongo, Binduri, Pusiga, Bawku West , Kassena Nankana West, Builsa South and Talensi all in the Upper East Region and Bunkpurugu Yunyoo and Gushegu in the Northern Region.