Public’s perceptions of CSO are generally good - Report

Mr. Douglas Quartey Mr. Douglas Quartey

The public's perceptions of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Ghana are generally good, except among party activists, who perceive CSOs' criticisms of the Government as attempts to make the regime unpopular.

The Ghana CSO Sustainability 2019 Index Report indicated that most people see CSOs as charitable organizations and broadly support their activities, especially in local communities.

The CSO Sustainability Index is a tool created by the USAID to study the strength and overall viability of CSO sectors in countries of operation.

Ghana was among the first sub-Saharan African countries that participated in the assessment in 2009 with the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) as the local implementer.

The 2019 report was presented in Accra at a media dissemination workshop by Mr Douglas Quartey, Development Consultant/Author of the Ghana CSO Sustainability Report.

Mr Quartey said using a standard set of indicators and collecting data each year, the CSO Sustainability Index tracks changes in the strength of the CSO sector over time and allows for cross-country comparison.

The report reiterated that the Government perceptions of CSOs remain mixed. The business sector's view of CSOs was positive, although collaboration was limited.

It revealed that both the government and portions of the business sector recognize the expertise of CSOs and invite them to speak at their events.

The report intimated that social media usage was high among both urban and rural-based organizations, with many organizations using Facebook to disseminate information.

"CSOs in Ghana still do not have a general code of ethics, although most organizations include codes of conduct in their operational manuals," the report stated.

It said in 2019, as part of the grant award process, CSOs receiving funding from STAR-Ghana had to share their organizational codes of conducts.

It said despite their importance to national development across all sectors, CSOs in Ghana were facing monumental challenges for survival.

Mr Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Fellow, IDEG, said as international development partners and donor agencies were gradually cutting off funding supports to CSOs, African Governments must create funding support for their local CSOs.

He noted that in most advance democracies such as the United States and Denmark, Governments provide funding support for CSOs, stating that African Government could do same.

Source: GNA