CoST Infrastructure Transparency Initiative WorkShop

On the 28th March, 2023, the Mpohor District, Public Relations and Complaints Committee meet to perform their statutory functions as obliged by the constitution of the land. The constitution of Ghana, article 26 and 27 stipulates the membership of the committee. a. Presiding member who is supposed to be the chairman of the committee as well. b. Five (5) members elected by the district assembly. c. Representative each of the district office; i. National Commission on Civic Education, ii. Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice,iii. Civil Society Organization Representative By the standing orders, the Presiding Member of the Mpohor District Assembly happens to be the chairman of the committee.

The meeting on CoST was organized on 17th April, 2023 and commenced at 10:30am. Various stakeholders from MDA, Civil Society Organization (CSO), CoST District Community Monitoring Team (DCMT), Media, Traditional Authorities, Market Women Association, Youth Groups and PWDs were present for the meeting. The meeting commenced with an opening prayer, followed by a presentation on CoST by a member of the DCMT. CoST also referred to as Infrastructure Transparency Initiative is aimed at transparency and accountability reform within the built environment space. CoST is meant to enhance disclosure, validation, interpretation and presentation of infrastructure data into much simpler language to empower stakeholders. This is aimed at reducing mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption and the risks posed to the public from poor infrastructure investments. CoST achieves this through applying various approaches - from conducting independent studies on projects, analyzing disclosed project information, creating awareness through various platforms, holding capacity building training for CSOs, Private Sector, Procurement Entity officials, citizens and other stakeholders.

At the later end of the meeting, the stakeholders were given a group exercise on the following questions
1. In your experience what are some of the major issues associated with the delivery of public infrastructure in your district
2. What areas along the project life-cycle would you like the IAD to focus on ?
The stakeholders were divided into two groups and these were the issues raised:
1. Prioritization of needs: if more than one project has been planned, the more pressing one needs to be focused on.
2. Sensitization before project commences: project needs to be locally announced for the public to be in the known
3. Late release of funds from the central government
4. Close monitoring of projects by the assembly and the public to ensure the project is to standard and their satisfaction
5. Acceptance of project. Is the project what the local community needs and will they use it. 6. Project should be disability friendly
7. Transparency should be done on the assembly website
Also, the stakeholders wants the IAD to focus on the following
1. Local advertisements
2. Cost of projects or payments
3. Social Audit
4. Date of handing over of projects