District monitoring teams trained on electronic infrastructure monitoring tools

The Sekondi-Takoradi chapter of CoST International, a multistakeholder initiative to promote transparency and accountability in public infrastructure investment, has held a two-day training workshop for district monitoring teams in Tarkwa Nsuaem to enhance their work. The participants were upgraded on a disclosure platform and an Electronic Infrastructure Monitoring Tool (E-IMT) for the newly created eight-member CoST District Citizens Monitoring Team in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region. The CoST E-IMT is a digital platform designed to facilitate the monitoring and reporting on infrastructure projects being executed by the various district assemblies, which are members of CoST. The tool allows project stakeholders to input data on infrastructure projects, track progress and generate reports for transparency and accountability. Sekondi Takoradi, Effia Kwesimintsim, Shama, Daboase, Ahanta West, Tarkwa Nsuaem, Nzema East and Mpohor districts are benefiting from the monitoring tools develo ped by CoST Sekondi-Takoradi. Ghana's legal framework supporting disclosure of information, compatibility of legal framework on disclosure with CoST's formal disclosure requirement at the sub-national level, CoST approach-core features, tools and standards, introduction to E-IMT and its practical test were among the topics discussed. Mr Aziz Mahmoud, the Monitoring and Learning Evaluation Officer of CoST Sekondi-Takoradi, during the opening of the workshop at Akyempim, said the team was formed two years ago and occasionally went round to build the capacity of members to enable them to apply the monitoring tools effectively. 'When it comes to infrastructure monitoring sometimes the assembly invites us to participate in this programme, but we are unable to give detailed feedback, and at the end of the day we are the same people who will blame the assembly for not delivering quality infrastructure,' he said. 'That is why we have designed this tool to complement ongoing monitoring by the assemblies, so that a t least we can have the best and quality projects for our citizens.' Mr Mahmoud emphasised the strengths of the tools, which would help for deeper interactions with project stakeholders, and enhance constructive engagements between the assemblies and the monitoring teams to ensure value for money. 'We are not interested in witch-hunting, this is not a financial audit, it is a social audit tool, so our assignment is to identify shortfalls, make actionable recommendations and have dialogue with the assembly for them to understand how we apply these tools and its benefits,' he said. 'When you do your work in a dispassionate neutral manner the assemblies understand that you are looking for the best for them and they will embrace your reports and recommendations, own and then implement them.' Ms Rodah Gyampo, a member of the monitoring team, representing Non- Governmental Organizations, said from henceforth, they would be able to monitor ongoing and completed projects to ensure value for money. Mr Benjamin Te ye Aborbi, the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Director, National Youth Authority, commended the organisers for the training and that the team would take advantage of the monitoring tools to enhanced local infrastructure governance. Source: Ghana News Agency