The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) has rolled out a partnership programme dubbed: Voice for Change (V4C) to empower Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to effectively implement advocacy strategies to ensure development in the country.
It is expected to train and improve the capacities of 12 CSOs from the energy, water and sanitation and food security sectors.
The Country Director of SNV, Dr Adriaan de Jager, said at the launch that Ghana had a number of developmental challenges that the programme sought to address.
Key among them were the issue of food security, women cooking under harmful circumstances, lack of access to clean water and sanitation services, as well as untapped opportunities in off-grid energy sources.
He said the challenges required change, either at the policy level with institutions in charge of rules and regulations or at the private sector level, as well as from development organisations themselves.
He, however, pointed out that in order to engineer development in communities, it was important for actors to move from paper and policy documents to real action.
Dr Jager, therefore, called on stakeholders to take action together on implementing the project to the benefit of the larger society.
He noted that the principle of the V4CP’s advocacy would be based on discussion with evidence and not on confrontation and called on stakeholders to collaborate in the implementation of the programme.
The Programme Coordinator, Mr Eric Banye, said the project would provide an update for stakeholders to know how it was going to be run this year.
He was hopeful this would increase CSOs participation in creating an enabling environment and sustain development for all.
‘’It is the expectation of the V4C that the assisted CSOs would influence the agenda setting by gathering evidence and bringing it forth to confront the government and the business community,” he said.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru called on the participating CSOs to advocate the need for the citizenry to use renewable sources of energy to safeguard the environment.