Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), Widows and Assembly members drawn from the Bongo and Talensi Districts of the Upper East Region have been equipped with advocacy skills.
The one-day workshop , dubbed “Evidence Based Advocacy for Enhancing Gender Quality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Sensitive Local Governance Decision Making” , forms part of the STAR-Ghana funded project named “Strengthening Inclusive and Accountable Local Governance “, being implemented by the Community Development and Advocacy Centre(CODAC) in the two Districts.
The objective of the training was to equip participants with the basic knowledge and skills on evidence- based collaborative advocacy and how to conduct appropriate grassroot advocacy campaign.
Mr Seidu Musah Akugre, the Project Coordinator of CODAC, said at the end of the training, the participants would be expected to draw their own advocacy plans to be used as a tool for the engagement of duty bearers and service providers on their rights and entitlements as well as help improve upon service deliveries.
“The Trainees will also be supported to participate in engagement forums involving diverse actors such as communities, Religious and Traditional leaders, the media, local government authorities including; the District Assemblies and political parties among others”, he said.
The Resource Person, Mr Saaka Sumaila , took the participants through varied topics including; introduction to Advocacy, the Right Based Approach to Development, Decentralisation : Opportunities and Challenges, Developing Advocacy Strategy, Building Advocacy Alliance, Strategic Communication , Message Development and Delivery, Working with the Media, Developing Advocacy Strategy , Monitoring and Evaluation.
He said evidence based advocacy and building advocacy alliance with other groups to advocate were key ingredients to achieving positive results in that area.
He impressed upon the participants to make sure that they build advocacy alliances and get their data and facts organised well before meeting duty and service providers on advocacy issues.
The Participants who lauded CODAC for the training programme indicated that they had learnt a lot from the programme particularly in the areas of evidence-based advocacy and building of advocacy alliance.
They expressed optimism that when they put into practice what they had acquired at the programme , they would be able to make an impact as groups and stressed the need for such programmes to organise periodically for them and other vulnerable groups.