In Ghana, the score for the values promoted and practiced by civil society is quite high and encouraging overall. Particularly significant is the practice of internal democracy within CSOs and the commitment to eradicate poverty. At the same time, financial information pertaining to CSO donations and investments are rarely made public and are only shared with senior management within the organizations themselves. Such a lack of transparency aggravates the perception that CSOs (and particularly NGOs) are ‘rich’, as several stakeholders pointed out. Due to excessive spending on hotels, meals, transport allowances and per diems, many local communities see CSOs as money-making entities.

The CSI findings show that civil society in Ghana has contributed towards women’s empowerment and provided basic services to local communities, while its impact on policy and state or private sector accountability has been very limited. In the view of many community residents, CSOs have been generally more effective than the state in assisting marginalized groups such as women, children and the disabled. The advent of democratic government has created new channels for CSOs to influence policy through mechanisms established by law, such as advocacy in the media, parliamentary lobbying or stakeholder sensitization. However, civil society is yet to take advantage of this new opportunity and mainly resorts to confrontational strategies.

CSI Country Reports in Ghana Ghana

From 2008 to 2010, the Civil Society Index is being implemented by HEDGE.