As high as 87 per cent of Ghanaians are said to have never contacted their formal or informal leaders to demand accountability, according to statistics from the Afrobarometer round seven survey.
The report explained that most Ghanaians do not engage their local leaders to discuss problems in their locality and offer their opinion to solve problems affecting them.
This was made known at a two-day social accountability multi-stakeholder forum, held in Accra, under the theme ‘Institutionalising social accountability in local governance; the success, gaps and the way forward’.
The forum was organised by CDD-Ghana, SEND-Ghana, Ghana Anti-Corruption Agency (GACC) and Penplusbytes.
Deputy director in charge of programmes at Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr Franklin Oduro said it was very disturbing that there is a deepened communication gap between the local assemblies and the citizens.
Dr Oduro, who was making reference to some aspects of the report, said most Ghanaians preferred contacting their religious leaders, instead of engaging elected officials.
He added that citizens had a strong apathy towards activities of their local assemblies, saying, “Indeed, both demand and supply side accountability mechanisms are non-functional, and feedback loop is collapsed.”
He said it was against this background that Civil Society Organisations in Ghana have designed various accountability mechanisms to ensure that both supply and demand side of accountability work.
He said the social accountability programmes by CDD-Ghana, SEND-Ghana, Ghana Anti-Corruption Agency (GACC) and Penplusbytes seek to bridge the communication and information gap between the district assemblies and citizens.
Board Chairman of the Ghana Audit Service, Prof Dua Agyemang also stated that global social accountability is recognised as one of the tools that governments can use in the fight against corruption.
He said, in Ghana, participation of citizens in development is enshrined in the laws, administrative guidelines and procedures, therefore there was the need for Ghanaians to be patriotic and help in nation building.
He mentioned that government will continue to work with the various Civil Society Organisations to increase social accountability in governance, as well as in the planning, implementation and delivery of public goods.
According to the organisers, the forum was needed to ensure that people continue to have a role and a voice in service delivery.