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City of Banjul
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

IRI organise social audit training for NAMs

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By Tabora Bojang

As part of its commitment to strengthen democratic institutions to enhance transparency and accountability in governance, International Republican Institute IRI organised a two-day capacity building program on social audit exercises and public hearings for members of the National Assembly.

The training is part of series of programs organized by the IRI to promote and advance democracy in The Gambia since the change of government in 2017.

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Organised under the theme; “expanding the National Assembly Committees’ oversight functions in evaluating government policies and programs through social audit, the training targets members from committees including Public Petitions and Finance and Public Accounts Committees.

The event will be characterised by sessions on how to conduct social audit, public hearings after the social audit, field works and community engagements.

“IRI is trying to create new ways in which citizens [of the Gambia] can be involved in the work of the National Assembly for impact and visibility thereby leading to trust,” IRI’s resident director, Jimmy Sankaitauh said at the opening ceremony.

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Mr Sankaitauh expressed optimism that the training will give lawmakers the insights and perspective they need to be able to enhance their oversight functions.

He described IRI’s relationship with the National Assembly over the last six years as mutual, engaging and cooperative.

“We remain commited to continue to provide such high-quality training with technical support from our Center for Global Impact based in Washington DC,” Sankaitauh reiterated.

The program is funded by the US Embassy in Banjul through the Africa Regional Development Fund – or ARDF under the US Government.

Chargé d’Affaires US Embassy Banjul, Eric Mehler, disclosed that his country has immensely supported Gambia’s transition to democracy investing more than $7 million in programs focused on strengthening the legislative, political party, civil society, and media sectors.

Mehler stated that social audits and public hearings play a pivotal role in promoting dialogue, transparency and good governance by enabling and empowering citizens to actively participate in the decision-making processes that affect their lives.

“Let us seize this opportunity to enhance our collective knowledge, build strong networks, and develop a roadmap for effective social audits and public hearings in The Gambia. Together, we can foster a culture of transparency, accountability, and citizen participation that will pave the way for a brighter future for all,” the US diplomat reiterated.

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