Research Assistants of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Upper East Region have been trained to research the development needs of Ghanaians before the general elections.

The training was to equip the staff with the requisite knowledge and expertise to undertake accurate data gathering across the 15 constituencies in the region and to find out issues of concern to the citizens, who will vote on December 7, 2020.

Speaking to the media the sidelines of the training, Assistant Director of the Research, Gender and Equality Department of the NCCE, Stanley Quaynor, said the virtual training exercise for the research assistants was made possible with support from the government.

The physical training was a follow up to address some concerns before the commencement of the exercise.

According to the assistant director, the Commission had always researched the development needs of the citizens every election year and the voter expectations of the next government since 2004.

He said the findings of the research had influenced public discourse and actions of various governments in their attempt to address the needs of the people.

He also mentioned some of the political parties adopted some of the findings of the Commission in formulating their manifestoes.

Non-Governmental Organizations and other institutions also use the findings in the formulation of their policies and programmes.

The research findings, according to him played a role in the implementation of the Progressively Free Secondary Education and the Free Senior High School programmes by both the NDC and the NPP.

The Research Director noted that the findings impacted positively on presidential and parliamentary debates.

He said the commission engaged stakeholders on the findings and had collaborated with other institutions such as the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to conduct debates for political parties.

Stanley Quaynor explained that the objective was to ensure that the real needs of the people were met to improve livelihoods while deepening citizens’ participation in governance and cementing the democratic credentials of the nation and rule of law.

The NCCE Staff Union of the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) used the occasion to present about 135 NCCE branded nose masks to the management of the commission in the region to be distributed to staff across all the 15 Municipal and districts offices.

The Regional Chairman of the NCCE Staff Union, Samuel Akolgo, said the gesture was part of the Union’s contribution to support management and staff of the commission to protect themselves against contracting the novel coronavirus disease.

The Upper East Regional Director of the Commission, Pontius Pilate Baba Apaabey, who received the donation, expressed gratitude to the union for their support and noted that the union and management needed to work together to protect and deliver the mandate, values and integrity of the Commission.