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UCSOND’S ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2011   arrow

UCSOND’S ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2011

BACKGROUND

United Civil Society Organization For National Development (UCSOND) is an umbrella organization of community based organizations, civil society organizations, farmer based organizations, women groups, youth groups, christian groups, trade groups and artisans with the sole aim of building a united front to advocate on issues that affect the welfare of members and also demand transparency and accountability from duty bearers

MISSION

To mobilize and empower civil society organizations to demand for accountability and transparency in the governance of natural resources and public service delivery.

VISION

To reach sustainable citizen satisfaction through citizen’s participation

MEMBER GROUPS OF UCSOND

Farmer Based Organizations (FBO’s)

Student Associations

Youth Associations

Christian Mothers Associations

Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU)

Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Associations (GNTDA)

Ghana Hairdressers and Beautiians Association (GHABA)

Ghana National Associations of Teachers (GNAT)

Ghana National Association of Teachers Ladies (GNATLAS)

Market Women Associations (MWA)

District Council of Labour (DCL)

Ghana Federation of Persons with Disability (GFD)

Cooperative Distillers Association (CDA)

Fishmongers Associations

Fishermen Associations

BOARD CHAIRMAN’S BRIEF

Thanks to the almighty God for bringing us to the end of another successful year. I wish to say bravo to UCSOND for being an active watchdog and promoting the decentralization programme in Ghana. Indeed, you are a real partner of good governance.

This year has shown a significant improvement in the number of activities undertaken by UCSOND. The district assemblies would always be grateful to you for your strategic intervention to bring governance to he doorstep of all. the oil and gas campaign you carried out caught the eye of the board and citizens in the three Nzema districts. I am sure this was a positive response to call I made in last years report. I will entreat you to intensify your advocacy on the oil and gas, especially the gas infrastructure project. Another issue of concern is the 2012 elections; the role UCSOND should play to ensure that there is absolute peace before, during and after the elections in the three Nzema Districts.

I wish to express my special appreciation to our esteemed donors especially, USAID,for their support and hope other donors would leverage on our unique strength (broad based membership) to help deepen democracy in Ghana. I thank members of the board, management and non management staff for their dedication to the cause of humanity.

PRESIDENTS’ BRIEF

The nature of advocacy work undertaken by UCSOND in the year 2011 attest to the successes UCSOND is making in it quest to make governance accessible to the people at the grass root level.

Every year has it successes and challenges and the year under review is not exception. UCSOND has led the National Association of Persons with Disability in Nzema East and Ellembelle district to pressurize the district assemblies to outdoor the District Council on Persons with Disability. The Council is responsible for the disbursement of the 2% share of the common fund for persons with Disability. With the Council in place, people with disability now know where to seek for redress to their concerns. UCSOND organized a forum for persons with disability and their dependents on job opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

UCSOND through the assistance of Coastal Resource Center undertook mangrove restoration project at Asemko and Asanda in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.

UCSOND’s resolve to resource people of Nzema with Community Radio Station motivated UCSOND to join the coalition on the transparency of the airwaves (CoTA) to persuade NCA to facilitate the award of frequencies to Community Radio Initiatives n the three Nzema Districts.

UCSOND continued with it membership drive effort and added three more new members to increase the membership strength to thirty.

I wish to take this responsibility to acknowledge the contributions of USAID/MSI-LOGODEP, Coastal Resource Center, Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN), Participatory Development Associates (PDA), District Assemblies in the Nzema Districts, WERENGO, CDD/French Embassy for their invaluable support to the success of UCSOND.

Finally, my warmest thanks goes to the management team and our dedicated volunteers for their sacrifices and hard work.

MAJOR ADVOCACY ISSUES WITHIN THE YEAR

One major advocacy issue that was vigorously pursued was the formation of the District Council on Persons with Disability (constitution requirement) to manage the disbursement of 2% share of the common fund for persons with disability. Hitherto, the said amount is kept in the Assemblies accounts and accessibility o the fund was a problem. With the council n place, a special account has been created to take care of the 2%. Another positive thing about the council is that, persons with disability are represented on the council. However, much work is required to be done by the council since the Social Welfare Department does not have enough data on persons with disability  especially those in the villages.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE AND AWARENESS CREATION

The membership campaign drive which started in 2010 continued in 2011 resulting in three member groups coming on board thereby raising the membership tally to thirty. The strategies which were used in the preceding year such as the use of the public address systems; popularly known as Local FM stations in the communities to create awareness about UCSOND and it activities in the district were pursued. The meeting of community members through the chief and elders was seen as one of the most cost effective method of creating awareness about UCSOND.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

In the year 2011, UCSOND recruited HND holder in accountancy to take over from a volunteer accountant who had secured a job outside the region. Three new volunteers were also trained. The staff strength stands at five permanent staff and twenty three dedicated volunteers. Leadership of the various ember groups were trained in avdvoacy and lobbying skills.

TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING

UCSOND exceeded its target in the area of training and capacity building for the year 2011. The LOGODEP project was specifically geared towards enhancing the capacities of UCSOND staff and members. In all, seventy five (75) people, made up thirty nine (39) women and thirty six (36) men, received satisfactory training in local governance system, negotiation, dialogue, advocacy and leadership skills.

30 persons living with disability (PLWD’s) and some of their dependents had their capacity built in advocacy and other relevant provisions of the disability act. The social welfare department in the Nzema East Municipal collaborated with the resource persons to offer the required training. A committee of five was constituted after the training to identify some key advocacy issues concerning PLWD’s.

CHALLENGES

UCSOND as an organization is confronted with so many challenge. Prominent among them being the following;

Funding has been the major constraint facing UCSOND in the discharge of its mandate. UCSOND has the required human capital to execute any project it sets out to undertake.

Political influence on members is also a serious concern. Leaders of political parties try to infiltrate the rank and file of member groups.

Apathy on the part of some members and the general public sometimes hampers the work of UCSOND.  The cultural and social orientation of the people partly account for this challenge.

WAY FORWARD

Alternative source of rising funds would be exploited to widen the income base of the organization.

The general public would be sensitized to appreciate the need to participate in local governance.

 

 

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