On April 23, 2020, in Kenyasi, IRC Ghana in collaboration with the Asutifi North District Assembly with the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation launched the Asutifi North Ahonidie Mpontuo (ANAM) Small Grant Call on the District Learning Alliance Platform. The two-fold session entailed an overview of the call, the equity and inclusion highlights and the launch of the call by the District Chief Executive.
In his keynote address to launch the event the DCE, Hon. Anthony Mensah called on the CSOs to take the opportunity to work together in responding to the call to enable them to actively participate in the district advocacy space. He stated that the Assembly alone could not do it all but needed both international and local partners including CSOs to achieve the ANAM objectives.
Abubakari Wumbei, the communication learning and advocacy coordinator of IRC gave an overview of the small grant call stating that within the WASH masterplan civil society organisations (CSOs) have been identified to support WASH through allied action, advocacy, and engagement with the people to build popular support and transparency within the initiative. He stated, “the intent of the call is to get selected CSOs in the Asutifi North District to develop advocacy initiatives in defined categories of equity and social inclusion. The grant will support CSOs to carry out public education and sensitization in the district to complement ongoing efforts by the ANAM partners to achieve the universal WASH coverage.”
Mr. Wumbei stated that the Grant Opportunity was opened to all registered NGOs operating in the Asutifi North district. And that to be considered in this grant, NGOs need to submit advocacy proposals on any of the defined areas using the proposal template provided to be implemented in 2021 in Asutifi North District.
On eligibility criteria, Mr Wumbei indicated that the civil society organization should be a body registered with the Government of Ghana and the Asutifi North District Assembly and operating in the district. On the grant information, he stated that funds for ethe grant is from the Hilton Foundation, through IRC Ghana as part of the district-based initiative in collaboration with the ANAM partners. According to the communication coordinator, the total grant sum is fifty thousand Ghana cedis (50,000GHS) and the maximum grant per applicant will be ten thousand Ghana cedis (10,000GHS).
The assessment, selection and award of grant has been scheduled for July 2021. According to Mr. Wumbei an independent panel of judges with expertise in WASH service delivery and behaviour change communications will be constituted for the assessment. He announced that the deadline for submission of entries will be May 15, 2021.
The CSOs were given brief orientation on equity and inclusion around the five categories of topics. The concept of inclusion and leaving no one behind was highlighted and explained.
Equity and inclusion highlights
A short presentation on social inclusion and advocacy was also facilitated by Abubakari Wumbei. He explained that inclusion means ensuring that all are able to participate fully regardless of their differences - ethnic background, financial status, education level, physical or mental ability, religious beliefs, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, and other socio-economic circumstances.
The factors that contribute to individual’s vulnerability or exclusion - identified to be either macro level or micro level, were also discussed. The participation ladder, inclusion and marginalisation framework were used to further illustrate the key concepts.
It was noted at the end of the session that inclusion is not just about improving access to services for those who are currently excluded but also empowering people to engage in wider processes of decision making to ensure that their rights and needs are recognized.
The District Coordinating Director, Mr. Samuel Badu Baiden who chaired the event together with the traditional authorities entreated the local CSOs to go all out in responding to the call and not let the district down. About 83 participants drawn from local CSOs, Assembly, CNHF partners, heads of departments and units, traditional authorities among others were recorded.