Ho,- Send Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation, is helping enhance the budget advocacy skills of District Citizen Monitoring Committees in the Volta and Oti Regions.
The participants, drawn from Municipalities and Districts implementing the USAID’s People for Health (P4H) programme, were trained to understand the budget process, and how to influence its implementation towards securing the needed interventions.
Mrs Hariet Nuamah Agyemang, Senior Programmes Officer of Send Ghana, who opened the three-day workshop in Ho, took the committee members through the budget process and how they could track the process through the local to the national level.
Beneficiaries of the workshop are expected to strengthen budget analysis and advocacy skills, monitor the various stages and to intervene appropriately.
The Programmes Officer asked them to consider the formulation phase as the core stage to make inputs, and to remain particularly active in the local level budget planning process.
She guided beneficiaries to be abreast with the budget calendar to enhance local implementation, and to understand the National Budget cycle, the processes and the timelines.
“You must make sure your plan is in the budget and you must track it to make sure it is implemented as well.
“It is not enough to have your issue captured in the budget. It has to have funding attached. You have to follow through to ensure whether they are using for such or for other priorities,” Mrs. Agyemang said.
The training forms part of the P4H Project being implemented by Send Ghana, and in collaboration with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and Penplusbytes.
The project is focused on five thematic areas including HIV, malaria, family planning and maternal and child health, nutrition, and WASH.
In essence, it helps sustain efforts towards ensuring budget justice at both district and the national level.
Mrs Agyemang said participants should gain ideas on producing stronger proposals towards attracting and sustaining external support.
Committee members were also introduced to the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), and urged to help uphold its principles, which includes openness, inclusiveness, accessibility and transparency at the District Assembly level.
The Programmes Officer told the GNA on the sidelines that budget advocacy at the local level was weak, and that the DCMCs, constituted under the P4H project to track how the Assemblies implemented development agendas for the people’s benefit, could impart unto others to heighten interest in the process.
Source: Ghana News Agency