chapter  12
Why Civil Society Organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa Matter in Monitoring and Evaluating Poverty Interventions in Turbulent Times: A Case Study of Ghana
ByAndrew O. Asibey
Pages 24

This chapter argues that in developing societies, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the population faces almost perennial turbulence. The rise of civil society organizations (CSOs) is seen as a counterbalance to state power in the broader context of democratic governance. According to Mandelbaum, civil society consists of nongovernmental associations in which membership is voluntary. CSOs have become common features in the development field. They champion causes that are deemed essential to the survival of the common people, who ordinarily are ignored by governments and powerful forces of society. In the specific case of SSA, the assessment of poverty interventions has been the exclusive purview of development donor agencies, partner governments, and consultants. More often than not, citizens-clients or beneficiary groups are excluded from monitoring and evaluation processes. There has been a proliferation of CSOs in Ghana and dating back several years, even before the country became politically independent.