Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project has been touted for promoting increased local government transparency and accountability resulting in increased value for money and the adherence to project specifications.
Mr Clement Tandoh, Chief of Party of the GSAM project, who stated this when making a presentation at a stakeholders forum on the project in Tamale, said GSAM had increased the knowledge of citizens and the responsiveness and performance of the Assemblies enhancing the quality of capital projects.
The forum was to share comparative learning and best practices among civil society organisations (CSOs) and also to share the the Assemblies’ experiences on citizen monitoring and participation in local planning and implementation of service delivery processes.
GSAM is a five-year USAID funded project, which focuses on strengthening citizens’ oversight of capital development projects to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance in 100 districts of Ghana.
The $9.3 million project, which started in November, 2014, is being implemented by a consortium of three CSOs including CARE, OXFAM and Integrated Social Development Centre.
Nearly five years into its implementation, the project found that there was need to strengthen the performance audit mandate of the Ghana Audit Service over local governance in the country.
It was also stated that the regular transfer of staff of the Assemblies after the political transition coupled with changes in the political leadership made it difficult for the project to sustain gains in some districts.
Mr Tandoh said in view of its achievements, the project had been extended by a year to amongst others consolidate the gains made over the five year period.