SEND Foundation Advocates Decentralization of the Management of Development Aid
SEND Foundation Advocates Decentralization of the Management of Development Aid Website
The Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has called for the decentralization and management of development aid including the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) funds. It said the decentralized management of development aid would be meaningful if supported by functional decentralization processes and called for the further strengthening of the process to ensure that local government structures were involved in how aid for development projects were applied and monitored. These suggestions were contained in a communiqué issued by the Foundation after a two-day "National evaluation workshop on aid effectiveness" in Tamale on Friday. The Foundation has over the years been facilitating the assessment of the effectiveness of the HIPC Fund in poverty reduction by civil society as part of its broader process of reviewing the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The Communiqué called for the strengthening of existing legal frameworks related to the use of public funds and urged that upward accountability by governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) should be expanded to cover downward, internal and lateral accountability. The communiqué said aid conditionalities, which limited flexibility in the selection of development options should be discouraged, while targeting the strengthening of institutions and processes, which promote accountability. It said although policy space was opening up for government-civil society engagement it noted that the voice of the grassroots in terms of participation and involvement was minimal in the development processes. This often resulted in the imposition of development projects on beneficiary communities and the abandonment of projects among others it said, adding that to correct this, innovative ways should be found to promote rights based approach at the local level. The Communiqué noted that although HIPC funds had improved the availability of physical infrastructure in Ghana, its allocation was, however, skewed towards the provision of infrastructure such as classrooms, clinics and places of convenience as compared to incentives and working materials necessary to make those facilities functional.