The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), has called on the government to, as a matter of necessity, make information regarding its social intervention policies and programmes aimed at improving the livelihoods of the citizenry easily accessible to them.
That, it explained, was crucial to court the citizenry support and deepen their understanding of the policies and programmes for successful implementation to achieve the desired objective.
Madam Mina Mensah, Head of CHRI Africa Office, Accra, made the call during an experience sharing forum to solicit information on the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) at Ajumako Assasan in the Ajumako Eyan District of the Central Region.
It formed part of ‘Enhancing Citizens Voices’ project which sought to mainstream access to information in the implementation of the LEAP to encourage citizens’ participation in social interventions.
The project is being implemented by CHRI and the Right to Information Coalition, Ghana with sponsorship from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
Madam Mina Mensah emphasised that “access to information is a constitutional right and an asset for the citizenry to actively participate in the democratic process of the country, when people become well informed, they will be able to give better feedback that will inform the government about access, the success or otherwise of the initiatives and to strategise to improve on implementation.
“This is the best way to promote transparency, accountability, weed out corruption and bring governance to the doorsteps of the citizenry,” Madam Mina Mensah said.
Mrs Abena Opare, Social Welfare and Community Development Officer in the district, took participants through the process of LEAP registration, qualification and the benefits associated with it and advised them to take full advantage of it.
She admonished the LEAP beneficiaries, who were unable to personally receive their stipends due to old age or disability, to appoint credible and trustworthy representatives to collect it on their behalf and encouraged the beneficiaries to put the money into good use instead of using on frivolous expenditure.
Mrs Baaba Fleischer, Regional Coordinator of Right to Information Coalition, observed that the forum was initiated to empower the citizenry on how to access information concerning the implementation of LEAP in the district.