The blueprint of the Governor-elect is tagged SUSTAIN, which infers continuity. Therefore, it is surprising that out of a transition committee membership of 65, there are no recognizable civil society representatives that have been instrumental to the implementation and delivery of the reforms of the incumbent as well as program for result (P4R) disbursement linked indicators, many of which have given the State global recognition.
Some of these reforms are: the Open Government Partnership (OGP), State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability SFTAS program, Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability LFTAS program, as well as initiatives such as the Community Development Charter (CDC) and accountability mechanisms in areas that cuts across health, education, local government administration and social protection.
This needs to be addressed to ensure that the permanent dialogue mechanism established by the outgoing administration is reflected in not just the composition of the transition committee but more importantly in the governance process after swearing-in. Evidence has shown globally that when government work constructively with civil society it delivers better and inclusive development outcomes.
We hope that after swearing-in the incoming administration will not throw away the baby with the bath water. As policy summersault is a major bane to our progressive development. While some of the reforms and approach of implementation need to be reviewed or discarded, others that are people and development friendly should be sustained – one of which is the involvement of civil society as envisioned by the OGP.
Nonetheless, the civil society actors who are engaged in the governance process from various sectors met today to harmonize and finalize its position paper/memo that will be submitted to the transition committee for consideration.
Lets engage, ask the right questions and hold the government accountable.