The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Xchange Hama Media, a grassroots Accountability platform, Dr Ibrahim Disina has called on communities, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to collaborate to entrench accountability in governance particularly at lower level.
The Professional gave the counsel at a one-day community sensitization training organized by Xchange Hama Media in collaboration with Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism with support from the MacArthur Foundation recently in Kafin Kuka community in Katagum local government.
Represented by Aminu Naganye, Dr. Disina said that increasing community engagement and participation in decision-making processes through leveraging on media campaigns can enhance accountability while bringing all stakeholders together.
He cited Xchange Hama Media investigative stories that centered on unfair distribution and deliberate exclusion in distribution of flood relief materials in communities such as Azare as an example that communities can hold relevant individual and organizations accountable.
He emphasized that it is essential to stimulate community action on accountability through effective community-driven initiatives in partnership with CSOs to improve government’s commitment to people-oriented projects and programs.
He said that residents in communities can work together to push for transparency and accountability in projects designing and implementation. He added that community involvement in decision-making processes would yield inclusivity and participation in management of any project.
According to him, stimulating community action on accountability is crucial for the success of any project. “Community-driven initiatives have been shown to improve even managing projects for sustainable maximum use”, he said.
He explained that in holding leaders accountable for their actions and decisions, Kafin Kuka community can stimulate community action on accountability to drive changes in the society.
He stressed the need for collaborative engagements among all stakeholders for the betterment of the society and deepening democratic processes.
He also discussed individual and group challenges in promoting these values such as persecution, lack of support from other stakeholders among others.
Earlier in an opening remarks, the Executive Director noted that purpose of the sensitization program was to educate the participants on accountability, strategies for increasing community engagement and participation in decision-making processes, with a focus on leveraging media campaigns to better communities.
He added “The program aimed to raise awareness among community members about their rights and responsibilities as citizens in a democratic setting and to encourage them to take an active role in shaping decisions that affect their lives by holding individuals and organizations accountable for their action, inaction or decision or indecision.”
In a vote of thanks, Adamu Azare who spoke on behalf of the participants said they are now empowered to take action towards promoting the values of accountability, social justice and accountability. “In our communities, we will form networks and coalitions to collaborate on community-based projects aimed at promoting accountability, social justice, and inclusion. Kafin Kuka community follow what stalled their water project in line with the Xchange Hama Media reports and sensitization so that they can hold relevant people or agencies accountable,” he said.
The sensitization outreach was part of the Xchange Hama Media community-based accountability drive to create and sustain values of accountavility and participation at community kevel.