IDEG holds seminar on CSO Sustainability Report

Eric Appah Marfo/ Priscilla Oye Ofori, GNA

Accra, Dec. 3, GNA –
The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) on Tuesday held a seminar to
inform government and key stakeholders on the plight of Civil Service
Organizations (CSOs) in the country.

The seminar created
the platform for the presentation of the 2018 Ghana CSO Sustainability Report
and allowed for a dialogue amongst various institutions on ways through which
the efforts of CSOs could be strengthened.

Mr Douglas Quartey,
Development Consultant and Author of the Ghana Civil Service Organization
Sustainability Index (CSOSI), said the prevalence of project-based funding in
the CSO sector has made it difficult for organizations to retain employees or
offer them permanent employment, particularly on terms comparable to those in
the public and private sectors.

He said in 2018, the
increase in rents also made it difficult for CSOs to rent office spaces in the
urban centres and this has led to many CSOs relocating to peri-urban areas.

Also, while urban
CSOs tend to have good basic office equipment, small CSOs especially in the
rural areas lacked well-equipped offices with computers and basic software.

However, Mr Quartey
said, in 2018 there was an improvement in CSO advocacy as they interacted more
frequently and at higher levels with all three branches of government and for
the first time, the judiciary was engaged in discussions about delays in adjudicating

In the same year, he
said, CSOs and CSO coalitions had structured engagements with the President of
the Republic, Cabinet, Parliament and the Judiciary on issues such as
anti-corruption, fiscal and economic management, decentralization, health, oil
and gas and the judicial process.

Mr Quartey said CSOs
have been involved in public decision-making processes, such as the preparation
of national and district budgets and development planning, citing an instance
where the Peasant Farmers Association submitted three proposals addressing the
inclusion of the agricultural sector in the 2019 National Budget.

Mr Quartey called on
government to ensure comprehensive national consultations on the implications
of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda on sustainability of local CSOs.

Government should
expedite on Not-for Profit Bill through broad consultations especially with
grassroots organizations.

He said government
should set up a national fund to be accessed by CSOs for public education and
service delivery and accelerate on-going measures to develop a vibrant
philanthropy regime to support local CSOs.

He urged CSOs to
lobby government to provide tax incentives to private sector that fund CSO

Also, Mr Quartey
said CSOs should organize more training programmes and encourage the frequent
use of the local dialects during these programs so that they could maintain a
stronger link with the grassroots.

Dr Emmanuel Ayisi, a
Research Fellow, said the country needed to be repositioned and reoriented to
be self-sustaining and develop its own resources.

He urged CSOs to
diversify their sources of funding through the building of joint networks,
hedging of financial resources, developing business minded approaches,
credibility building and engaging in more consultancy.

Dr Ayisi advised
CSOs to cut down on cost and apply financial management measures adding that
they should build alliances and coalitions to enable them make stronger cases
for the release of funds from donors.

He said CSOs should
reorient and restructure their programs so as to benefit from the United
Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Ayisi said they
should redirect and intensify their advocacy on corruption to expose and make
corrupt officials face the laws to serve as a deterrent to others and also
protect the country’s purse.


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