Dr. Francis Appiah, Executive Secretary of the National African Peer Review Mechanism - Governing Council (NAPRM-GC)at the weekend urged that members of District African Peer Review Mechanism Oversight Committees be knowledgeable and their appointments based on competence, reputation, integrity, gender-balance and non-partisan.
He was addressing an APRM workshop in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region for staff of the National Commission for Civic Education, assembly members, civic leaders and other stakeholders at a trainer-of-trainers workshop.
The trained members would act as trainers in the districts and help build the capacity of other members on the principles of the APRM and the functions of oversight committees.
Dr Appiah explained that the training programme would allow the governing council to elicit broad-based support, commitment and involvement of the people in the formation of the district oversight committees as well as monitoring and evaluating the district APRM programme of action.
“The views of ordinary people in the street on issues of governance matter the most in participatory democracy. “If we are to sustain our democracy, it must be owned, led, driven and managed by the people to give a true picture and a credible report on the country's current state of affairs when African leaders meet in Accra next month for the African Union Summit”, he said.
Dr Appiah emphasised that the APRM should not be left in Accra in the corridors of powerful people, but rather ordinary people must be made to embrace it to ensure country ownership.
The objectives of the workshop included ensuring that the monitoring and evaluation of the programme of action was transparent, professional, objective and based on dialogue among stakeholders, coupled with evidenced based reporting to foster the credibility and integrity of the APRM process.
Touching on the principles and objectives of the Monitoring and Evaluation and APRM, Dr Appiah said the monitoring and evaluation process would help sustain democratic development in Africa.
“If the APRM has been recognised as an instrument to foster democracy, good governance and the promotion of businesses and socio-economic development, then it must be sustained”, he added.
Professor Miranda Greenstreet, member of the Governing Council said following Ghana's review in Sudan last year, the council was given the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the national programme of action.
Subsequently, she said, the President's Chief Advisor was appointed to act as a liaison between the President and the Governing-Council on the implementation of the programme of action.
To ensure that the programme of action is implemented, it was mapped onto the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) and other development documents, she added.
Prof Greenstreet said the council had developed
a monitoring and evaluation framework to monitor the progress of implementation by all stakeholders.
“This framework has been aligned to existing monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure sustainability and avoid duplication in the collection and processing of data”, the APRM-GC member added.
Mr Samuel Cudjoe, Principal Programme Officer of NAPRM-GC, said the oversight committees were expected to deepen the understanding of community members of the APRM, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the programme of action, build strategic partnerships at the district levels and prepare and submit bi-annual reports to the Governing Council.
He stated that the country chalked great strides in the four thematic areas of democracy and good governance, economic governance, corporate governance and socio-economic development but however stressed that much effort was needed to deal with the challenges facing these sectors.