About CSO Platform SDG Ghana
ABOUT THE GHANA CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS PLATFORM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Who We Are:
The Ghana Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was established in October 2015 to ensure more coordinated civil society efforts in achieving the SDGs in Ghana. The CSOs Platform was institutionalised in May 2016 and includes more than 300 member organisations, consisting of coalitions, associations, unions, community-based organisations, local, national and international non-governmental organisations, and religious groups. Members are located across the regions and districts of Ghana. The CSOs Platform’s membership is divided into 18 sub-platforms, one for each of the 17 SDGs and a youth sub-platform. District platforms have been established in 11 districts.
The vision of the CSOs platform is to be the coordinating platform for CSOs in Ghana in pursuit of achieving the SDGs by 2030.
The CSOs platform’s mission is to bring civil society organisations across Ghana together to foster joint efforts, partnerships with key stakeholders and effective advocacy for achieving the SDGs at the national, regional and international levels.
The Ghana CSO Platform on SDGs seeks:
- To identify and cluster all CSOs and CBOs working on specific SDGs together
- Provide common grounds for members to engage with government on SDGs implementation and monitoring
- Identify and build synergies among the different programmatic areas of members to increase impact
- To provide a market place for CSOs and CBOs working on different SDGs and targets to meet, learn and share knowledge
Each of the 18 sub-platforms is headed by a team of one convener and between two to five co-conveners. The convening team coordinates activities and joint efforts of the sub-platforms, and also represents the sub-platforms. All conveners are national NGOs while co-conveners and members are a combination of international, national and local non-governmental organisations. All convening team members are organisations with a proven track record of implementing projects and activities related to the SDGs.
The governing body of the CSOs platform is a 34-member National Steering Committee (SC) made up of a convener and one appointed co-convener from each of the 17 sub-platforms while a representative from the youth sub-platform holds an observer status on the SC. The SC is chaired by a group of three co-chairpersons who are responsible for representing the national platform as well as facilitating the operations of the secretariat.
The co-chairpersons are:
- International Child Development Programme – Mrs. Joyce Larnyoh
- Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition – Mrs. Beauty Emefa Nartey
- SEND-Ghana – Mr. George Osei-Akoto
The daily activities of the CSOs platform are coordinated by the National Coordinator: Ms. Ugonna Ukaigwe
Our Contribution to Achieving the SDGs in Ghana
- Building Partnerships and Strong Collaborations with stakeholders:
Within the past three years, the CSOs platform has made significant progress in strengthening structures for effective coordination of the national platform, ensuring effective coordination of multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaboration between CSOs, government and private sector, initiating advocacy to localise the SDGs as well as leveraging technology and innovation to enhance information sharing & public awareness on the SDGs.
The CSOs Platform has been recognized as the primary strategic civil society partner within multi-stakeholder partnerships that brings together civil society, private sector and government for the achievement of the SDGs. The CSOs Platform has sustained representation on all the National implementation structures that has been put in place by government to implement the SDGs. For example, the Platform is represented in the SDGs Implementation Coordinating Committee (SDGs-ICC), hosted by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Data Roadmap Advisory Committee of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the SDGs National Technical Committee. The CSOs platform has also been given approval to sit as an observer on the High Level Ministerial Committee on the SDGs chaired by the Hon. Minister for Planning, Prof George Gyan-Baffour and most recently, the Platform, has been invited to join the Voluntary National Review Committee set up by the Minister for Planning in preparation for Ghana’s VNR.
Partnership with government and the private sector has resulted in the regular participation and involvement of government institutions and private sector in programmes and events organized by the CSOs platform and vice versa. This partnership has given civil society the opportunity to participate in high level meetings and programmes of government as well as the opportunity to make inputs into policy documents, particularly those related to the SDGs.
- Promoting Local Ownership:
Through its ongoing localisation project, community based NGOs are being mobilised into district platforms and strengthened in their capacity to enhance their participation and contribution towards the attainment of the SDGs at the local level. So far 11 district platforms have been put in place in: Nadowli Kaleo, Garu Tempane, East Mamprusi, Ho, Bongo, Offinso, Cape Coast, Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi, Tamale, Sunyani. Focal persons/Conveners have been selected for these platforms from within their membership. The CSOs platform is advocating for a multi-stakeholder SDGs implementation strategy at the local level which will involve civil society organisations as well as the private sector replicating the same module which currently exists at the national level. As a result of the establishment of the district platforms, CBOs in the target districts are now able to operate under one umbrella, and jointly implementing projects instead of duplicating efforts.
Additionally, promoting local ownership has also resulted in strengthening collaborations and partnership between local authorities and civil society on the SDGs. District Platform members in the five districts have been introduced to the district authorities and are consequently engaging directly and participating in various interventions geared towards achieving the SDGs. In Garu Tempane, the District Coordinating Director attended the meetings and sensitised CSOs in the district on the guidelines and processes for developing the Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP). This provided an opportunity for the district–based non-state actors to influence the development of the MTDP. The localisation project also sensitised local authorities on the SDGs, the SDGs implementation structures and the multi-stakeholder partnership arrangement that currently exists between government and civil society.
- Policy Influencing Policies:
The Platform has played a key role in influencing policies. In 2018 for example, the Sub-Platform on SDGs 3 for the first time were invited by the Ghana Health Service to make inputs into the Health Sector Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP). The proposals made by the Platform were incorporated into the MTDP for 2018 – 2021.
Furthermore, the Platform undertook a national advocacy campaign to ensure that the 2019 Annual Budget of the Government of Ghana was aligned with the needs and investments required to achieve the SDGs. For the first time as a Platform, the Government invited coordinated inputs from members on the priorities of the 2019 budget to ensure that it was aligned with, and would support the achievement of, the SDGs.
The platform also had the opportunity to make inputs and contribute to the development of SDGs related frameworks e.g. the platform participated at a meeting organised by government to localise the global SDGs indicators, the platform was also involved in reviewing the National SDGs Indicator Baseline Report etc.
- Public Awareness/Information Sharing on the SDGs:
In other to enhance its visibility and promote information sharing among members and external stakeholders, the platform has put in pace a comprehensive and informative website with updated resources. Online thematic mapping of members and their contact information has been created through a google form and database. The platform is currently developing an online interactive map of members and their districts which will be linked to the Platform’s website. The platform has also strengthened institutional knowledge management through a google drive, event tracking and sharing through google calendars. Also prompt information sharing has been facilitated through WhatsApp groups for conveners, Co-chairs, Secretariat, and for sub-platforms. The Platform is active on facebook and twitter. Regular meetings are held with external stakeholders to share information about the CSOs platform, build synergies and map out SDG efforts in the country.
- SDG Data Advocacy:
Following a series of workshops held in some regions of Ghana, the CSOs platform developed a national CSO data roadmap to harmonise data production and usage for effective SDG advocacy and evidence-informed decision-making. Four workshops have been held across the country to build the institutional capacity of platform members operating in the regions on access to data to inform evidence-based SDG advocacy in Ghana. More than 100 organisations participated in the workshops nationwide. Following the workshops, a civil society data roadmap was developed.
The CSOs platform is the first civil society initiative to be established in Ghana without any external donor support. For the past two years of its existence, the CSOs platform received funding support from its membership. Meetings as well as conferences and programmes organised by the CSOs platform are made possible with support from members.
Kindly note that our membership is by organisations and not individuals. To sign up as a member of the Ghana CSOs Platform on SDGs, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with information on which of the SDGs Sub-Platforms you are interested in joining (Not more than 3-Sub-Platform). Include the contact details (email address and phone number) of your focal person, add a link to your website or social media platforms and attach a copy of your registration/incorporation documents. Once we receive these, the Secretariat will follow up with you on the next steps.
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