Concerns about the potential misuse of the covid funds in developing economies, especially when they are dispersed under emergency conditions, have prompted development partners to take steps to improve transparency and accountability.
The situation has informed the decision of some Development stakeholders to launch a project to track how funds earmarked for COVID-19 response are allocated and disbursed in Ghana.
Referred to as Covid-19 Transparency and Accountability Project, CTAP, it will lend insight into government expenditure to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, whiles strengthening public awareness and ensuring effective use of COVID-19 funds.
Civic-Tech, BudgIT Ghana and Connected Development, CODE in collaboration with SEND Ghana says the move will leverage on digital tools to promote public discussion about the covid-19 expenditure with the aim to deepen civic engagement and access to information.
Speaking at the Launch of CTAP, Chief Executive of BudgIT Foundation, Gabriel Okeowo said CTAP which is Pan African led can be found in seven countries, adding that though most of them are compliant, probing is necessary in order to keep them in check.
“This project is being run in seven other countries, Ghana is the last of it, that we are launching today. For the other countries, we have made some progress in terms of tracking the resources of a project that government has implemented with the resources of COVID-19.
Some of them we were able to see them being positively done, some need additional clarification and questioning from government for them to answer and all of this is not to put government on the spot but to give government the opportunity to win the trust of the people “
Deputy Country Director at SEND Ghana, Dr. Emmanuel Ayifah said the alliance will soon be engaging government especially with the coming on stream of the 100 billion Cedis Obantanpa CARES stimulus program.
“Indeed corruption thrives when we have pandemics, corruption thrives in case of emergencies and that is the more reason why the work BAGIT has come at a very good time, a time that we are looking at a 100 billion obantapa CARES money and of course most of the inflows that was said laid for budget.
So for us, we think it’s about time we partner with the government, this is not to find fault anyway but as development partners, we need to look at where the loopholes are and not until we follow the money and track to make sure that this is what the government intended to use the money for, these are the allocation and disbursement that have come in, where monies are going.
If we do not do that I believe that our civil society will be doing a great diss”.
STORY BY: MABEL ADORKOR ANNANG