The Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), has rolled out a partnership programme dubbed, Voice for Change (V4C) to empower Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to effectively implement advocacy strategies to ensure development in the country.
The advocacy programme is and evidence based initiative being implemented by the SNV in partnership with the International Food and Policy Research (IFPRI) and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The programme which is currently being implemented in six countries, including Ghana, spans the period from 2016 to 2020.
The aim of the programme The Herald learnt, was to strengthen CSOs to advocate for an enabling environment in which Governments and businesses, would provide good and affordable services for low-income segments in the society.
The project is expected toroll out advocacy and capacity building programmes in three thematic areas namely Agriculture, Energy, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
In all twelve CSOs made up of three fromthe energysector, four in the Water and Sanitation and five in the food security sector will in turn be trained to improve upon their capacities and provide evidencesdesigned to implement advocacy strategies as well as plans that would be funded under the project leading to increase advocacy activisms.
Speaking at the launch of the Voice for Change (V4C) programmeon the theme: “Building Vibrant CSOs for Advocacy” in Accra, Eric Banye, Programme Coordinator for V4C said the project will provide an update for stakeholders to know how the project was going to be run this year.
According to him, this will increase CSOs participation in creating an enabling environment and sustain development for all.
The programme intends to develop the capacity of CSOs to gather evidence to confront the policy makers with it.
It is the view of the programme to build vibrant CSOs through advocacy strategies with voices of dissent to hold the policy makers accountable he
‘’It is the expectation of the V4C that the assisted CSOs would influence the agenda setting by gathering evidence and bringing it forth to confront the government and the business community’’.
He said, V4C programme is an important partnership within the framework of dialogue and dissent for development.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Van Nyamedi, said the V4C programme was a fine project put together by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to build capacity of CSOs.
He said, CSOs are the interface between the state and the individuals because they think and represent the interest of many in the country.
He took the opportunity to express gratitude to the royal Dutch Government for committing itself the capacity building of CSOs in the country.
He called on the participating CSOs to advocate on the need for the citizenry to use renewable source of energy to safeguard the environment.