Bureaucracy hinders Access to Information to CSOs -CDD

MUHAMMED AWAL, Research Officer of the Center for Democratic Development CDD-Ghana has expressed worry over bureaucracy in most of the public institutions, especially the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) which hinders access to information for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in their quest to embark on credible data collection.

He revealed that, the challenges faced at the industrial level includes lack of institutional capacity to collect data, like Urban water coverage extension services, delay in production of data, the bureaucratic and political factors like delay of educational data because of elections in 2016, which could lead to unfriendly format of data received – usually in pdf.

Mr. Awal, who was speaking at a workshop organized by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) dubbed: ‘I am Aware Civil Society Organizations Access to data to inform the evidence-Based Policy-Making SDG Advocacy in Ghana’, on the theme: ‘Informing and Empowering Citizens for Change’, said in order to have a credible data system, the state actors like Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have to understand how data can be used to measure the progress of SDGs.

Mr. Joseph Connor, Ashanti Regional Economic Planning Officer, speaking on the role of the Regional Coordinating Council  (RCC) said data is very critical when an informed decision is to be taken, as SDGs form an integral part of the long term plan from 2018-2057 and the National medium term development.
He observed that access to reliable and usable data will be essential hence the need to support the implementation of information.

The Planning Officer  entreated  CSOs to move down to the districts and get the necessary data while getting in touch with the RCC which he said is committed and ready to support  and deliver.

Mr. Connor noted that data remains key to proper advocacy and that data from national sources still requires validation, while CSOs needs to engage at local level and think of leveraging on IAA resources to build strong data for civil engagement with duty bearers to better enhance data that is made available to them.

Mr. Kobina Abaka Ansah, Ashanti regional Statistician, described the programme as laudable, saying the state is prepared to share the data that is available, as to what they can do to meet the national standards and advised that administration data must be strengthened to meet Africa Union (AU) and the same time national standard

He said people should be willing to give data by making it available for the interest of all. Rikke Sig Hansen, Coordinator, Civil Society Platform on SDGs disclosed that, the aim and purpose of the workshop was to share ideas to collectively prepare credible data for informed decisions for the benefits of the people.

According to him, his outfit deems collection of credible data, for which they are doing their part to ensure that there is a proper and credible data system in place.

Source: Ernest Best Anane || The Chronicle, Kumasi


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