- On September 21, 2018
USAID Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Sharon Cromer has declared SEND a strategic partner to the U.S. in health, governance and democracy.
As the guest of honour at SEND’s 20 years anniversary of Empowering Good Governance and Transforming Lives: a Ghana Development Success Story, Ms. Cromer said over the past four years, SEND has been a key partner to the U.S. Government.
Read her full statement below.
Professor Gyan-Baffour, Minister of Planning;
Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Planning
Mr. Ishmael Ashitey, Hon Greater Accra Regional Minister
SEND West Africa Board of Directors, Founding CEO, Country Director and members
Development partner colleagues,
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am honored to participate in this celebration of SEND West Africa’s 20th Anniversary. For twenty years, SEND West Africa has been at the forefront of advocacy, policy research and community mobilization in the region. Over the past four years, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has been a steadfast partner by your side. In fact, USAID considers SEND to be a strategic partner due to the organization’s unyielding commitment to increase accountability and give a voice to citizens in the most remote corners of this great nation.
Data has shown that there is a positive correlation between active citizen participation, good governance, poverty reduction, and peace and security. When citizens participate in determining policy priorities that encourage the government to enhance the quality of services. We applaud SEND’s efforts to enhance the ability of citizens to scrutinize public institutions and hold governments to account, to support a well-governed, healthy and prosperous Ghana.
SEND is a USAID strategic partner on many levels. First, SEND Ghana continues to demonstrate that solutions to development challenges cannot be solved with one sector alone. The SEND Eastern Corridor Livelihoods Security Promotion Program, adopted an integrated approach; including food security, human rights and peace education, reproductive health, the involvement of rural youth, and employment initiatives. A staggering 4,000 beneficiaries in 2,000 households were reached with these life-saving and income-generating activities, and malnutrition was reduced from 37% to less than 19%. These are truly impressive results, and this project has paved the way for many other successful ones. In fact, we understand that SEND Ghana was one of more than 250 civil society organizations selected for the One Africa Award, an acknowledgement of your work as one of leading African-based, African-led advocacy organizations on the continent.
SEND is a strategic partner in the health sector, where we partner with SEND Ghana to implement the People for Health project, which empowers citizens to demand high quality health services at all levels. For example, SEND Ghana helped establish District Citizen Monitoring Committees to monitor the quality of services and lobby the District Assembly for improved services and additional resource allocation. There is now increased use of Ghana’s Patient Charter to promote the rights of vulnerable groups, including people living with HIV/AIDS, and an innovative web-based platform to capture citizen feedback on health service delivery. Finally, SEND Ghana supports national and district Medium Development Plans to ensure that sectors are adequately resourced and that District Assemblies are held accountable to provide services to their constituencies.
SEND is also a strategic partner in the area of Democracy and Governance, as it is part of a consortium of three organizations to reduce corruption in Ghana. The fight against corruption is a central tenet of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision. In fact, it was the focus of the speech he delivered at this year’s 61st Independence Day Anniversary. SEND Ghana is helping move Ghana beyond Aid, by helping citizens get best returns on investments from the public purse. Standing with SEND Ghana, we are supporting local initiatives and civil society to reduce corruption, improve service delivery, and ultimately support Ghana on its path to self-reliance.
As President Nana Akufo-Addo stated: “To get to a Ghana Beyond Aid, we will have to effectively harness our own resources and creatively and efficiently deploy them for rapid economic and social transformation. This will require hard work, enterprise, creativity, and a consistent fight against corruption in public life“.
SEND is contributing to Ghana’s Beyond Aid vision by empowering local communities, lifting up their voices from the most remote communities to encourage government to deliver quality service
SEND is a strategic partner is the effort to sustain development gains. At USAID, sustainability is a priority. As stated by our Administrator, “We believe the purpose of our international assistance must be ending its need to exist.”
I will end with a quote from the late Kofi Annan, whose leadership touched the world. “We will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights.” SEND Ghana, your commitment to ensuring that basic human rights are respected, is the key to a thriving and prosperous Ghana. Today, we acknowledge not only the efforts of the team gathered here, but we also recognize the hundreds of thousands of SEND warriors on the ground, fighting every day for the rights of the people of Ghana.