The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) on Wednesday, 18th September, 2013, launched the National Social Public Expenditure Financial Accountability (SPEFA)/Citizens’ Public Financial Management Template at Takoradi, in the Western Region of Ghana.
The MLGRD is implementing the Local Government Capacity Support Project (LGCSP) in order to strengthen, support and to build the capacity of Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs). This is being done through the delivery of 4 components, all with various specific objectives.
Under Component 3 of the LGCSP, the focus is on stimulating demand for Accountable Local Governance and Service delivery. It seeks to generate civil society demand for accountable governance and foster more effective engagement of citizens with Local Authorities (MMAs) on Public Financial Management (PFM) issues.
To strengthen this citizens’ engagement, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in collaboration with MLGRD has developed Citizens Public Financial Management Templates for MMDAs (Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies, to assist the MMDAs) in communicating Public Financial Management (PFM) information in a simplified manner to citizens.
In addition to this, Social Public Expenditure Financial Accountability (SPEFA) process has been initiated in the various MMAs to strengthen citizens’ engagement with Assemblies. The SPEFA process is being facilitated by a consortium of CSOs (Civil Society Organisations) led by SNV (The Netherlands Development Cooperation), that has been contracted by the Ministry. These CSOs are responsible for mobilizing Town hall meetings among other obligations.
In light of all this, the MLGRD together with the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly and SNV is organised the first Town hall meeting in Takoradi, in the Western Region; which saw the citizens PFM template and SPEFA process launched to kick-start its implementation.
The platform enabled citizens and stakeholders, which involved Chiefs, opinion leaders, CSOs, Media, Farmers, including others to engage officials Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) in the areas of their previous financial expenditures, progress of developmental projects, what they required the officers to do in their localities and the way forward.
The event which saw hundreds of people participating, was powered online by BloggingGhana’s Prince Baah-Duodu(@baahduoduprince) and Elorm Billy-Awittor(@awittor) via the Twitter handle @bloggingGhana to stimulate an online engagement.