Workshop for African Social Watch Coalitions in Accra

Source: Ghana Nation

A two-day African Regional Capacity Building Workshop for members of Social Watch Coalitions on the continent was held in Accra this week, with the aim to strengthen the capacity of members to actively monitor the implementation of social policies and programmes by their governments.

The workshop helped to equip members with the necessary tools and skills needed to monitor and hold governments and international organisations accountable for the implementation of commitments on gender equity and poverty reduction.

It also sought to strengthen the capacity of national coalitions to campaign effectively for social policy change and increase social accountability for governments, while improving the quality of national reports produced on poverty, gender, and social development.

The workshop was envisaged to build the skills of participants to engage in meaningful dialogue and co-operation with authorities about anti-poverty and gender policies including budgeting and budget oversight.

Addressing the opening session, Dr Akua Britwum, Convenor of NETRIGHT, said the training is important because it enables members working in diverse fields to share their experiences to enhance the in-built monitoring systems and mechanisms.

She said the task of monitoring governments on how they were living up to the commitments of provision of the basic necessities of life required a concerted effort to ensure that the task of accountability was performed creditably.

Britwum expressed the hope that the workshop enhances the capabilities of members of Social Watch coalitions to raise public awareness on social development issues, and to contribute to shaping the national and international debate through the media.

Yao Graham, Co-ordinator of Third World Network, said the goal of Social Watch was to hold governments, the UN System and international organisations accountable for the fulfilment of national, regional and international commitments to eliminate poverty.

He said that through its monitoring mechanisms, Social Watch had over the years helped to promote people centered sustainable development.

Social Watch, an international network of citizens organisations established in 1995, is devoted to the elimination of poverty and to the end to all forms of discrimination.