Engendering citizens’ participation in decision-making: CSOs trained on how to engage parliament

Fifteen Civil Society Organizations from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions of Ghana have participated in a two-day (November 16-17, 2017) capacity building workshop in Tamale on how to engage parliament.   The activity was implemented by the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) under a programme entitled Strengthening CSOs in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana to Engage Parliament. It is funded by the Embassy of France in Ghana as part of the “French Solidarity Project-Strengthening Capacity of CSOs in Ghana”. The training is part of a one-year project composed of a series of capacity-building activities aimed at enhancing civil society-parliamentary engagement for a more effective participation and representation in governance and decision-making processes by citizens of the three northern regions of Ghana.

The training focused on helping participants to understand the institution of parliament, they key actors, their sources of power or authority and how they influence the workings of the House. Participants also learned about the roles of a parliamentarian as an individual and collectively as parliament. A final aspect the training delved into how CSOs and parliament can build a mutually beneficial relationship. Within this context, the training explored the entry points available for CSOs to engage parliament, lessons on advocacy and lobbying as well as best practices in responding to parliamentary calls for public input into Bills.

Over the course of the next few months, the beneficiary CSOs will be engaged in a number of activities within their organizations, geared towards engaging parliament on particular policy issues and concerns.

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