Catholic Diocesan Development Organisations (DDOs) have been urged to strengthen their overall governance and accountability framework to apply for funding from multinational institutions.
The leadership of the Church has also been advised to ensure that the DDOs operated professionally by registering with the Registrar General Department and operating in accordance with the law as non-profit organizations.
Dr Charles Abugre, Acting Executive Director, of the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province Partnership in Action (TEPPIA), an NGO of the Catholic Church in Ghana, said this on Wednesday at a two-day workshop to strengthen institutional capacities of the Catholic DDO in Ghana and the launch of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Ghana Local Leadership Strategy. The objective of the workshop is to orient DDOs and local partners of the Church to appreciate the requirements for running effective development projects.
The programme brought together Catholic Bishops in Ghana and stakeholders to chart the path forward towards development projects in the Churches. He urged the Church to invest in human resource development because it was the basis for the capability required to build trust to raise more money and implement developmental projects. The Church, he stressed, must also think of other non-grant sources of funding by partnering with investment entities that were interested in promoting social development and environmental protection to ensure project sustainability.
Dr Abugre advised the Church to embrace diversity and explore other sources of funding by looking at the environmental funding available globally. “The Church must explore the Green Climate Fund and position itself to access some of the resources because the Church is very actively creating adaptation and mitigation of environmental challenges like planting trees, and preserving greens,” he said. He said development interventions must be practical, physical, and policy-oriented to meet the needs of society and urged local development organisations to focus on the underlying policy environment that influenced people's ability to earn an income and relate peacefully with each other.
“The way we tackle poverty is not only by building schools, hospitals, or drains; it is more of a multidisciplinary approach to ensure holistic development,” he said.”The landscape approach to development requires that you find a way to provide physical services and ensure that the social and policy environment does not undermine our interventions but actually create greater stabilisation,” he said.
Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the President of the Ghana Bishops Conference, commended CRS for the support it had provided over the years to respond to the needs of society through developmental projects. He urged the Church to take advantage of opportunities at donor agencies to help develop the country.
Ms Beatrice Brew, Partnerships and Capacity Strengthening Advisor, CRS, said the Services had implemented health, education, and other projects with the aim of ensuring that human dignity was sustained.
Ms Amanda Boachie, Programmes Manager, USAID Ghana, urged local development organisations to adhere to financial management principles and assure them of her outfit's commitment to providing the support needed to implement needed development projects.