The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), is implementing an 18-month project with funding from the Strengthening Transparency and Responsiveness-STAR-Ghana aimed at strengthening media and CSO collaboration for inclusive and accountable local governance in Ghana.
Under the project, GJA is carrying out integrated set of media interventions in partnership with civil society actors, in order to foster and strengthen the seemingly weak collaboration between them and strategically drive the vehicle of public advocacy in demanding effective accountability from duty-bearers.
Also, the partnership is expected to contribute to enrich citizens’ access to quality information through structured media platforms and CSOs outlets.
Journalists and CSOs are expected to build capacity on critical local governance issues such as the Constitutional Review processes on the District Assembly election, proposed election of Metropolitan, Municipality and District Chief Executives as well as the creation of the new regions.
It is anticipated that the intervention will position media-CSOs to gain further insights into the political-economy of Ghana, especially at the local level and frame issues from informed perspectives to influence policy-making and implementation.
The Project will also enhance the quality of CSOs activities by offering them a structured media platform to increase the spread of sharing success stories from community projects.
This will increase the capacity, engagement and lobbying skills of both journalists and civil society actors to demand inclusive local governance and accountability from duty-bearers.
The Association anticipates that the project will contribute to improving citizens’ access to information on public policy-making and implementation, and add value to the livelihoods of citizen, especially the vulnerable, marginalized and socially excluded persons.
Inception and brainstorming sessions have been organised for journalists and CSOs after the launch of the project on the 29th October, 2018.
Zonal workshops and meetings have been help in Accra, Tamale and Ho where journalists and CSOs deliberated on how to handle the issues. The remaining zonal areas will also receive the training to ensure effective implementation of the project.
The General Secretary of the GJA, Kofi Yeboah at the zonal area meetings stressed the importance of the project to the development of the country and urged journalists and persons from the CSOs to play their respective roles to ensure the success of the project.
According to the Project Management Unit, PMU Lead Kojo Impraim, GJA will form and nurture a group of journalists including social media actors, and equip them with knowledge and information to report on the identified issues, as well as develop other news story ideas around inclusive local governance for publication.
Mr. Impraim explained that the project will also position media owners, managers, editors, and other gatekeepers to help drive the results, as they form an integral part in the design and implementation of this project.
A Consultant with the Project, Rebecca Ekpe announced that a dashboard application system will be developed to serve as information resource centre for the dissemination of relevant media contents on the project to citizens and the global community.
Ultimately it is anticipated that the media-CSO partnerships will contribute to promoting broad-based and decentralized government as well as position citizens including socially excluded persons to effectively participate in inclusive local governance to enhance overall national development.
Story by Dominic Hlordzi.