Mr Amadu Musah Abudu, East Gonja District Chief Executive has urged NGOs and other development partners to collaborate in the execution of development projects to avoid duplication in the siting of projects.
He noted that because of the lack of consultation among them and the intended beneficiaries, projects, which could be shared by communities, were often duplicated resulting in waste of resources.
Mr Abudu was opening a five-day workshop on: 'Training of trainers on participatory planning,' organised by the Northern Regional Poverty Reduction Programme (NORPREP) for staff of the East Gonja and Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District Assemblies in Tamale yesterday.
The workshop sought to enhance the capacity of District Assemblies to interact effectively with communities that have different absorption capacities as well as Area Councils ability to incorporate participatory implementation procedures.
It also aimed at building the capacity of communities to come out with Community Action Plans (CAPs) that reflect their needs and priorities. The communities would be required to produce profiles for each proposed sub-project indicating the people and groups involved.
Mr Abudu said NORPREP aimed at improving the livelihoods and the living conditions of poor rural communities with emphasis on women and other vulnerable groups through deepening and broadening rural services and community and self-help capacity.
He said this was in line with the decentralisation programme, which sought to promote appropriate development, to respond to the peoples needs and represent their goals, objectives and priorities.
He said NORPREP provided the opportunity to operationalise the decentralisation policy and institutional framework on a limited basis for focused evaluation and refinement.
Madam Amama Habib, Human Resource Development Officer of NORPREP said a participatory development approach was needed to empower communities to express their demands effectively and to take responsibility and ownership of community projects as well as hold local government officials, NGOs, CBOs and others accountable for their decisions and actions.
She said planning at the community level was very critical because it was at that level where positive impact on household poverty indicators could be achieved. She said issues of gender advocacy and disability would also be mainstreamed into the community planning process to ensure that the needs of the vulnerable members were reflected in the CAPs.