The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) says political party manifestoes are social contracts in which parties to the contract; the voter and the party, must engage each other to ensure the promises are upheld.
Mrs Clara Kasser-Tee, CDD-Ghana Board Member, said the organisation had worked and continued to work to complement the broader objective of strengthening democratic governance, the principles of popular participation and the demand for public accountability.
She noted that the Centre had done this by harnessing the power of evidence-based research to inform and influence public policy for the greater good of the country.
Mrs Kasser-Tee said this in her welcome address at the launch of CDD Ghana’s Publication on Complications of Issues and Evidence on Key Sectors in Ghana under the Manifesto for Inclusive Development Project.
The Project, dubbed: “The Manifesto Project: Promoting Responsive and Responsible Manifesto for Inclusive Development,” aims at shaping manifestoes at the drafting stages to deepen democracy.
“As an organisation committed to the promotion and deepening of Ghana’s democracy, good governance and inclusive development, CDD-Ghana’s role in this project is to serve largely as a transmission belt.”
“We are merely providing a stage and opportunity for potential voters to engage and amplify issues they believe are critical to political parties in crafting their prescriptions to developmental problems at all levels of governance,” she stated.
Mrs Kasser-Tee noted that CDD-Ghana’s election programmes in the past had focused primarily on promoting free, fair and peaceful elections through election observation at all phases including voter registration, election day observation, post-election observation, peace education and support for constituency debates for aspiring parliamentary candidates.
“This project is informed by the Centre’s projects on evidence–based policymaking at the national and local level as well as the recognition that manifestoes play a significant role in shaping Ghana’s development agenda,” she said.
“Again, manifestoes have become increasingly relevant within elections and gradually contributing to informing voter behaviour and electoral outcomes in Ghana.”
“CDD-Ghana is, therefore, leveraging its strength as a research-driven organisation to support the manifesto development and agenda-setting of political parties through the use of research data and evidence.”
The organisation would continue to work with political parties, media, civil society and all other identifiable interest groups to advance the conversation to enhance data-driven manifestoes and policies, Mrs Kasser Tee said.
Those would not only be responsive and inclusive but also respond to national and global development frameworks and aspirations, she added.