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Friends of the Nation (FoN) is a Takoradi based non governmental, non-political organization established in 1993 with a vision of ensuring that future generations are offered the opportunity to enjoy an equal measure of utilization of environmental functions whilst contributing to global environmental sustainability.

Glowen Kyei-Mensah, National Coordinator for Mwananchi Ghana, recently spoke at two important international conferences that studied the links between research, policy and power.

In February, Glowen presented at the International Conference on Evidence-Informed Policy Making in Ife-Ife, Nigeria, on ‘How well is research communicated to policy makers: examining effective communication strategies’. You can find the conference review paper here: Glowen’s contribution is on page 10 of the document.

Then, at the K* conference in Ontario, Canada at the end of April, Glowen spoke about how to improve the impact of civil society and community organisations within the knowledge-policy process. Read a report of Glowen’s session here.

Download the full reports here, or read the executive summary below.

Synthesis of case study findings

Case study 1: Decongestion in Accra, Ghana

Case study 2: Uganda’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill

Case study 3: The contemporary debate on genetically modified organisms in Zambia

Case study 4: Chieftaincy reform in Sierra Leone

The Evidence-based Policy in Development Network (ebpdn) was set up with one purpose in mind: to promote our understanding of the role that evidence plays in policy-making in developing countries and in international development policy. Over the years, several studies and events have helped to shed light on the factors that explain the uptake of evidence; factors that the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) Programme synthesised in 2003. These are political context; the nature and presentation of the evidence; links or networks; and the external environment (Court & Young, 2003).

In its role building capacity among interlocutors, Mwananchi Ghana hosted a workshop to facilitate relationship building between media players and traditional authorities.

Choice Ghana, an NGO, has embarked on a project to promote effective engagement and collaboration between the traditional authorities and the youth in the East Gonja District (EGDA) of the Northern Region.

The project dubbed: “Promoting effective collaboration between traditional authorities and the youth to facilitate the course of community development”, formed part of the Mwananchi Ghana Programme, which is coordinated by Participatory Development Associates with funding from the Overseas Development Institute.

Its aim is to encourage youth-led initiative to promote dialogue and transparent information dissemination between traditional authorities, youth and the community at large to ensure that all are involved in the planning and decision making processes for the development of the district.

Mr Mohammed Seidu, Executive Director of Choice Ghana, announced this at a media briefing at Salaga, the capital of the EGDA on Friday, saying the project became necessary in view of the fact that there was a disconnect between the traditional authorities and the youth, which often retarded the development of the district.

Mr Seidu said the crux of the project “is to harness the power and authority of the traditional rulers and the energy, ideas and social capital of the youth through information and communication to tackle our development challenges.

He said ‘Choice Ghana’ would effectively document and package the good practices of the project and replicate it in other districts of the region.

Mr Alhassan Mumuni, District Chief Executive for East Gonja, commended Choice Ghana for the project and pledged the assembly’s continued support towards its success.

He called on all to embrace peace and unity for the rapid development of the district.

This article originally appeared on the GhanaWeb site.

One of the aims of the Mwananchi Ghana Project is to enhance the ability of civil society, media, and elected representatives to better access, understand and apply information and communication. Information and communication is deigned to represent a basic resource, process and strategy to shape government policies and practices that engage the interests and voices of citizens.

This new report by Mwananchi Ghana governance expert Audrey Gadzekpo provides individual case studies on five Mwananchi-Ghana grantees who, like six other grantees from Ghana, are working to support ordinary citizens (the mwananchi) to increase their voice in their communities, improve their ability to participate in decision-making, and demand accountability from elected representatives, appointed officials and traditional authorities.

With six organisations already part of Mwananchi Ghana (MG) and five expected to sign up soon, the programme continues to grow. Below are the organisations’ names and projects they are implementing.