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Regional News of Monday, 18 February 2008

Source: GNA

Workshop on Rights Based Approach opens

Accra, Feb. 18, GNA - Sixteen countries on Monday convened in Accra to begin a four-day workshop aimed at improving Rights Based Approach (RBA) performance and concepts, which highlight the impact of power inequalities in development processes.

The workshop being organised by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) and Oxfam Novib, the Netherlands subsidiary of Oxfam International, would start a three-year trajectory RBA project. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Bishop Aklogo, Executive Director of ISODEC, said RBA was concerned with empowering people to demand their economic, social and cultural rights as basis for development.

He said it was for this cause that the participants had convened to share experiences, understand good practices and formulate organizational action plans for implementation this year. Mr. Aklogo said ISODEC had since 2000 been at the centre stage of rights advocacy in Ghana and was in the process of formulating its own gender policy.

Ms. Marjolein Brouwer, Research Officer and Project Leader, Oxfam Novib, said 0xfam believed in addressing unequal power relations and empowering the most marginalized to take control of their lives by means of identifying obligations and duty bearers on one hand and rights and rights holders on the other hand.

She said Oxfam Novib was funding over 800 institutions with an average grant of 135,000 Euros per year to enable them to undertake projects on RBA.

Ms. Brouwer said subsequent workshops would be held in other countries until participants were fully equipped and the three-year learning process was over. Dr Esther Ofei Aboagye, Board Chairman, ISODEC, said the workshop would help provide solutions on dilemmas on RBA practices, especially among non-governmental organizations.

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