A study has revealed a high demand for more investment in social protection interventions in the country.
Respondents also raised concerns over inadequate public knowledge of available social protection interventions, their financing and delivery and transparency of programmes and services.
They further observed that there was limited coverage of the people on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme and the fact that only a fraction of qualified beneficiaries were currently benefiting from the programme.
The study was conducted by SEND Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in line with its mission to help create an equal society.
According to the Country Director of SEND Ghana, Mr George Osei-Akoto Bimpeh, the Citizens Manifesto was put together after a broad-based national consultative process.
“The Citizens Manifesto Dialogue Series, which brought together 402 people from a section of Ghanaian society, was used to solicit the views of the people on the state of current social protection initiatives,” he explained in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
“We feel that the issue about political party manifesto development has always been top-down driven, and hardly do the parties make the effort to get the input of the people into their manifestos,” he said.
He said in that regard, citizens ceded their power to state managers to design and implement programmes; however, in the fight for economic liberation, the input of the grass roots must be seen as important pointers.
“Given that social protection policies have a greater impact on the grass roots, their views are important in designing such policies,” he added.
Mr Bimpeh further observed that often when manifestos were prepared without the input of ordinary citizens, the document did not capture the true needs of citizens, leading to a disconnect between the ruling class and the ruled.
The country director said the collation of citizens’ views was critical because political party manifestos had become the de facto national development agenda, and since the country did not have a consistent long-term development plan that all parties could tap into, the views of ordinary citizens on their needs and aspirations could help the parties design manifestos focused on the needs of the people.
Source: General News