The Ghana Chapter of the Movement for Community-led Development was launched on Tuesday, 28 August 2018 at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in Accra. The session was chaired by Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director of WACSI and the Keynote Address (download) was delivered by the Hon. Kwasi Boateng Adjei Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. Nana Kwabena Nketia Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area gave a stirring address urging participants to reflect on history to inform their work on transforming unjust structures of society — and to be warriors for that transformation.
(Photo l-r: Samuel Afrane, John Coonrod, Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Nana Kwabena Nketia and Hon. Kwasi Boateng Adjei.)
Papers were presented on behalf of Christian Aid and the CSO Platform for the SDGs, and a panel of young community activists joined the director of the government’s flagship “One District One Factory” initiative.
Samuel Afrane, country director for The Hunger Project-Ghana, presented the following press statement which describes how the chapter will move forward.
The Movement for Community Led Development (CLD) is an alliance of over 40-member NGOs and donor agencies seeking the widespread adoption of grassroots initiatives to empower communities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and thereby become the authors of their own development. Ultimately, the Movement seeks to transform “top-down” development approaches, which have resulted in abysmal improvement in the living conditions of the poor at the bottom.
The CLD Movement was formally launched at the international level in New York alongside the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. The members include The Hunger Project, Oxfam, WaterAid, Global Communities, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, FHI360, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide and The Alliance to End Hunger. The Hunger Project (THP) provides a secretariat in Washington DC for coordinating activities of the Movement globally.
The member organizations believe that integrated and community-led solutions at the local level are critical to the sustainable end of hunger and poverty. This involves ensuring people are empowered to set their own priorities, implement their own actions, and achieve lasting progress in their lives.
The movement is inspired by SDG #16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”
The purpose of establishing the national chapter of the CLD Movement is to create the space for learning and sharing best practices and to present a united front for advocating community-led development approaches in Ghana.The National chapter will also ensure that communities have the voice, resources, skills and decision-making power to successfully achieve the SDGs. The underpinning philosophy is that Development happens in communities and it is in communities that women, men, and the youth can discover their voices, assert their rights and mobilize action to achieve their aspirations.
The Movement will operate mainly through existing networks such as the International NGO Forum and the CSO Platform on SDGs. Membership is free and open to all development organizations, from any sector, that are publicly committed to community-led development principles and methodologies. In Ghana, the activities of the Movement will focus on the following:
Movement members will meet regularly (in person or via internet) as a community of practice, utilizing a shared language and analytic framework to learn about each other’s methodologies for community mobilization and promote the science of community-led development as a mainstream, cross-cutting theme in development.
Organising field visits to identify communities where Community-led development is working successfully as evidence of its efficiency in achieving SDGS.
Building and fostering consortia of NGOs and government bodies to develop pilot programs that could serve as a model for national scaling up.
Identifying individuals in government, bilateral and multilateral institutions who will provide leadership and champion the course of community-led development in Ghana.
Providing technical support to governments and communities towards the adoption of community-led development approaches.
Promoting and facilitating citizens’ access to quality public services for health, education, water, sanitation, food and nutrition security, public safety and justice, etc.
Advocating the improvement of laws and policies to create an enabling environment for community-led development initiatives and interventions. Particularly, the Movement will advocate policies that ensure all communities can command a fair share of public resources for achieving local goals in ways that are transparent, timely and publicly accountable.