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Manifestos for Inclusive Development

Project Name

Manifestos for Inclusive Development

Duration

N/A

Funder(s)

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
Project Info

Elections in Ghana’s Fourth Republic have become a keenly contested two-way affair between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) since the country experienced its first party turnover in government in 2001.  Regular competitive elections that come with a credible prospect of change in who governs are beginning to shape Ghana’s politics in ways both good and bad. On the negative side, the credible risk of defeat and alternation in power has further raised the stakes in Ghana’s binary, zero-sum electoral politics, where public contracts, jobs, and other such opportunities and resources routinely change hands after a party turnover in government. This, in turn, has turned Ghana’s general elections into a “do-or-die” affair between the NDC and NPP, with each side marshalling all possible means and resources, fair and foul alike, to wrestle or retain power.  On the positive side, the fact that both parties must reach beyond their respective identity-defined electoral strongholds in order to maximize their chances of victory in fiercely-contested national elections is encouraging a turn toward “issue-based” politics and, with it, a rise in the electoral relevance and value of the campaign manifesto.

 

Informed by the growing recognition of the significance of manifestos and its effects in shaping the development agenda in Ghana, CDD-Ghana is leveraging its strength as a research-led organization to support the manifesto development and agenda setting of political parties through the use of research data and evidence.

 

The intervention being executed under the banner: “Promoting Responsive and Responsible Manifestos for Inclusive Development” seeks to among other things, strengthen the capacity of political parties in generating responsible, inclusive and sustainable manifesto policies and programs; enhance the use of data and evidence in drafting political party manifestos; open up the process to the opinion and views  of  citizens, key experts and the media; improve the effectiveness of manifestos of political parties in addressing critical national long-term development and governance issues; and build trust, responsiveness and accountability in the process.

 

CDD believes that a CSO-led intervention designed to address these identified gaps in the manifesto “value chain” (from agenda-setting/pre-campaign, post-release/campaign, to implementation/post-election) is critical to making Ghana’s election manifestos and ensuing government policies and programmes responsive (i.e., reflective of citizen and national priorities, including tackling structural challenges) and responsible (from a fiscal and implementation standpoint).

Key Activities
  • Commission reports on key sectors and peer review
  • Regional stakeholder engagements on the reports
  • Media engagements to raise awareness about the increasing relevance of manifestos and importance of citizen involvement
  • Media training on how to interrogate political party manifestos
  • Social media advocacy to raise awareness and encourage participation
  • Tracking the implementation process of the manifesto of the winning political party

Project Info

Elections in Ghana’s Fourth Republic have become a keenly contested two-way affair between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) since the country experienced its first party turnover in government in 2001. Regular competitive elections that come with a credible prospect of change in who governs are beginning to shape Ghana’s politics in ways both good and bad. On the negative side, the credible risk of defeat and alternation in power has further raised the stakes in Ghana’s binary, zero-sum electoral politics, where public contracts, jobs, and other such opportunities and resources routinely change hands after a party turnover in government. This, in turn, has turned Ghana’s general elections into a “do-or-die” affair between the NDC and NPP, with each side marshalling all possible means and resources, fair and foul alike, to wrestle or retain power. On the positive side, the fact that both parties must reach beyond their respective identity-defined electoral strongholds in order to maximize their chances of victory in fiercely-contested national elections is encouraging a turn toward “issue-based” politics and, with it, a rise in the electoral relevance and value of the campaign manifesto.

Informed by the growing recognition of the significance of manifestos and its effects in shaping the development agenda in Ghana, CDD-Ghana is leveraging its strength as a research-led organization to support the manifesto development and agenda setting of political parties through the use of research data and evidence.

The intervention being executed under the banner: “Promoting Responsive and Responsible Manifestos for Inclusive Development” seeks to among other things, strengthen the capacity of political parties in generating responsible, inclusive and sustainable manifesto policies and programs; enhance the use of data and evidence in drafting political party manifestos; open up the process to the opinion and views of citizens, key experts and the media; improve the effectiveness of manifestos of political parties in addressing critical national long-term development and governance issues; and build trust, responsiveness and accountability in the process.

CDD believes that a CSO-led intervention designed to address these identified gaps in the manifesto “value chain” (from agenda-setting/pre-campaign, post-release/campaign, to implementation/post-election) is critical to making Ghana’s election manifestos and ensuing government policies and programmes responsive (i.e., reflective of citizen and national priorities, including tackling structural challenges) and responsible (from a fiscal and implementation standpoint).

Key Activities

  • Commission reports on key sectors and peer review
  • Regional stakeholder engagements on the reports
  • Media engagements to raise awareness about the increasing relevance of manifestos and the importance of citizen involvement
  • Media training on how to interrogate political party manifestos
  • Social media advocacy to raise awareness and encourage participation
  • Tracking the implementation process of the manifesto of the winning political party

 

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