Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms

“…though I am disabled, I can now speak up and ask questions, demanding answers from elsewhere.”

“…though I am disabled, I can now speak up and ask questions, demanding answers from elsewhere.” That’s what a community member in Ghana says is the main benefit of the Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project.

GSAM is funded from 2014-2019 with $9.3 million from USAID. It is reaching 210,000 people directly and 2.1 million indirectly. CARE partners with Oxfam, ISODEC, and 25 local partners, as well as the Ghana Audit Service.

What did we accomplish?

  • People can influence their governments: People are now 4.5 times more likely to get a meeting with the local assembly (up to 59%). Even better, governments are actually changing the way they design infrastructure to meet community concerns—even if it costs a little more.
  • Citizens participate more: People are 35% more likely to participate in government planning processes, and twice as likely to know how to monitor progress and hold the government accountable.
  • Infrastructure projects are higher quality: Now, projects are getting an 81% score on quality, up from 71% when the project started.
  • People feel more empowered: One community member said “…I also have a voice in what happens in the Assembly. This alone makes me feel empowered.”
  • Projects are more transparent: An assembly member says, “There is more transparency compared to previous times. Project details were in the past not shared with communities, but due to the GSAM project, the assembly is making such information available to citizens, even contract sums.”

How did we get there?

  • Help communities engage: Networks of community development monitors work with the GSAM team to track progress on infrastructure and ask for their rights from government when things go wrong.
  • Focus on sharing information: The project holds town hall meetings to share information with communities, provide updates on how projects are going, and respond to feedback. They also use billboards, radio shows, posters, and other tools to spread the word.
  • Close the feedback loop: The project summarizes feedback from multiple sources into understandable graphics and posters, and then takes that information back to communities so they know how we’re responding.
  • Use social media: The project has social media and other digital platforms that share progress and get feedback from citizens on their concerns.
  • Create networks: The project gets district governments together so they can learn from each other, exchange ideas, and see examples of success.

Want to learn more?

Check out the project reports.