Parliamentary Staff, CSOs Get Citizen Engagement Training.

Participants and facilitators in a group photograph

THE AFRICAN Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), in collaboration with the Parliamentary Centre, Canada, has organized a training for parliamentary staff and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on modules and tools for citizen engagement on national issues.

The two-day event, held in Accra, covered topics such as, ‘Building a common understanding around citizen engagement’ and ‘Exploring ways to capture the views of women and girls about selected draft laws by incorporating new formats/approaches,’ among other relevant subjects.

Policy Analyst and Social and Public Accountability Specialist, Issifu Lampo, emphasized the importance of parliamentary staff and CSOs implementing robust strategies to enhance citizen’s participation in national issues.

He highlighted the significance of developing a shared understanding of citizen engagement to strengthen the nation’s democratic system and rule of law.

Mr. Lampo also stressed the importance of CSOs forming coalition groups to demand accountability from authorities, stating, “I always advise CSOs to form coalition groups to have a unified voice that seeks lasting solutions to issues raised by citizens when engaged.”

He further explained the necessity of identifying genuine engagement versus forced engagement during interactions with authorities, emphasizing that genuine citizen engagement contributes to collective problem-solving and prioritization.

Participants shared their experiences of strategies used in citizen engagement exercises, including public forums, dialogues, training of citizen paralegals, and education and awareness creation on local government to empower local politics.

The program Officer at the Ghana Federation Of Disability Organisations, Abdul Wahab Adams, emphasized the urgent need for CSOs to establish strong partnerships to enhance their citizen engagement activities. He highlighted that building strong partnerships is essential for supporting one another and ensuring meaningful citizen’ input.

“If we want to enhance our engagement with citizens then there is a need for us to build strong partnerships to support one another. This is a sure way to also set the input of citizens,” he said.

Source: Daily Guide

BY Prince Fiifi Yorke

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