EDUCATION POLICY think tank, Africa Development and Resources Research Institute (ADRRI) , has launched a Development Transparent Barometer Index aimed at empowering communities to influence development projects executed in their communities according to their priorities instead of those of the government while ensuring active local participation in decision making.
The Barometer Index is intertwined with a Community Development reporting system hinged on the several categories of reporting such as government to citizen, government to employee, government to business, and citizens to governance and corruption.
The system enables users to report and direct their development challenges to the appropriate development agencies out of which Development Transparency Barometer Index will then be generated by ADRRI based on the performance of the indicators gathered through corresponding government response to the needs of the communities and level of their engagement and involvement in the initiative.
At the launch of the programme, the Executive Director of ADRRI, Dr Jamal Mohammed, a lecturer at Koforidua Technical University, said the project seeks to contribute to Ghana and Africa’s development through a bottom-up approach to development issues, policy planning and implementation.
According to him, “development is a process that goes beyond an improvement in the wellbeing of the people. It encompasses the capacity of a system to provide the environment for continuous and consistent wellbeing of the people. It requires a conscious and regular incremental approach to ensure that as lives are being made better, any change will be an improvement and not retrogression.”
He further stated that local participation in community affairs was a necessary pre-requisite for community development, adding that studies have revealed that the major agents of change in the local communities were the indigenous people since they may have the necessary knowledge, skills and willingness to drive development projects in their community.
He expressed worry that in Ghana and many African countries, community development initiatives of governments failed to achieve set goals because the communities were not actively involved in planning and implementation.
“Most of these initiatives were designed from outside the communities without their participation. Thus, such initiatives are either abandoned half way or never executed at all. It is, therefore, important that governments initiate rural development projects based on community needs assessment, which is rooted or backed by empirical research to enhance their participation, from planning to implementation,” he noted.
He said for Ghana to achieve uniform development to remedy the high level of inequalities in the nation’s development, it was imperative for active local participation in governance and development initiatives.