In Ghana, even though the Constitution has expressly provided for public participation in governance processes at both national and local county levels of government, there has been very minimal participation and/or involvement by persons with disabilities since the promulgation of the constitution. As we transit into a fully devolved system of governance where planning, coordination, budgeting, execution, monitoring and evaluation will be done at the local level, enhanced participation by PWDs shall be critical in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
FHI works to increase the participation of people with disabilities in local governance, and to encourage local authorities to take the rights of people with disabilities into consideration when planning and implementing development projects. The organization also empowers local disabled people’s organizations to advocate for their rights.
Strengthening local disabled people’s organizations is often the first step in inclusive governance. By teaching people with disabilities how to organize, understand their rights, and gain the acceptance of local authorities, they have the opportunity to successfully advocate for positive change.
We advocate for policies that allow people with disabilities to fully participate in the political process, including ensuring the accessibility of polling locations and through promoting the availability of accessible voting technology.
Every vote counts. The secret ballot is the cornerstone of democracy. The right to vote is universal.
These are the absolutes of election rights, and are among the phrases which motivate, even inspire, election workers, who in many nations face daunting challenges as they strive to carry out free and fair elections. Yet in many elections in Ghana, these best of intentions rarely extend to or enfranchise citizens with disabilities. Over the past years, however, as part of its good governance
Initiative to Enfranchise Citizens with Disabilities, FHI learned that the electoral rights of disabled citizens can be recognized and championed, even in the most difficult of electoral environments. We work with grassroots community based disability organizations, national election commissions, and with international and multilateral democracy organizations to advance the electoral rights of citizens with physical, sensory, mental, and psychiatric disabilities.