A SUNYANI-BASED Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Centre for Active Development (CAD), has secured an amount of £41,780.97 from the Right and Voice Initiative (RAVI), a group of international NGOs, to operate a scheme dubbed District Accountability Project (DAP).
The programme, which hopefully would be extended to other parts of the country, currently has four districts as its beneficiaries.
The four include the Asutifi and Tano South districts in the Brong-Ahafo Region and Garo Tempane and Bawku West districts in the Upper East Region.
According to the Project Coordinator, Peter Asore, twenty
communities, five from each district, would benefit from the project.
Mr. Asore noted that out of the £41,780.97, £34,780.97 would cover direct cost (field programme) while the remaining £7,000 covers indirect cost, including payment of staff among others.
The Coordinator indicated that such advocacy programmes were meant to educate the rural folks especially, on their rights and participation in the decision-making process.
DAP, according to Mr. Asore, aims at contributing to citizens' participation in effective revenue mobilization and utilization for development.
Already, CAD has held series of sensitization meetings with locals as well as members of the beneficiary district assemblies, DCEs, chiefs and other opinion leaders to educate them on the objectives of the programme.
He disclosed that some baseline studies done in those areas revealed that often petty quarrels ensued between revenue collectors and tax payers due to the fact that payees did not understand why they should pay tax.
Payees, he added, were also ignorant of the fact that the various assemblies were accountable to them and therefore failed to demand to know how much revenue the assemblies had generated and how those monies were used.
“There is also an issue of apathy on the part of tax payers which leads to mistrust and consistently social strife among community members and revenue agents,” he noted.
“Ignorance has been identified as a major limiting factor, preventing the ordinary people from demanding their rights from duty bearers,” he added.
The district accountability project, therefore, would help in putting pressure on authorities to carry out their obligations while creating space for citizens to participate in revenue collection and utilization so that development interventions would respond directly to the needs of beneficiaries.
From Rocklyn Antonio, Sunyani