The Institute plays diverse roles in promoting participation of civil society and other non-state actors in the pursuit of democracy and good governance, economic growth and poverty reduction, as well as equitable development in Ghana.
Employees of the Institute have played technical roles in the execution of major national projects such as the Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiative (SAPRI), the formulation of national Poverty Reduction Strategies such as GPRS I (2000-2002, 2003-2005) and GRPS II (2006-2009), and the National Governance Programme (Consolidating Democratic Governance Programme (CDGP) 2002-2005).
In addition, IDEG has rendered services to key umbrella civil society organisations and networks, including labour associations and voluntary organisations in development. It has also worked with several ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of state at the national level, and local government authorities at the decentralized level. IDEG has established working relations with a number of multilateral institutions such as the UNDP, IMF, AfDB, European Commission (EC) and the World Bank, and bilateral development agencies in Ghana like CIDA, DfID and DANIDA, and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
In 2003, IDEG, in partnership with the Harare-based Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) launched a 4-year Interface Capacity Building (IDEGCAP) Project (2003-2007) aimed at empowering citizens and non-state actors to influence public policy decisions and their outcomes. Under the project, the Institute undertakes policy research and analysis, dialogue and advocacy, and capacity building activities.
Between 2004 and 2007, IDEG served as the coordinating secretariat for the implementation of a number of civil society-led initiatives aimed at influencing high-level decision-making on issues of democracy and good governance, and growth and poverty reduction.
IDEG also serves as the Secretariat for the implementation of the Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) in Ghana. In that capacity, IDEG works closely with the Dakar-based Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the AfriMAP Secretariat in the London-based Open Society Foundation (OSF). The project is currently being implemented in five African countries namely Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa.
In 2007, before and during the African Union Summit held in Accra, the Institute coordinated the activities of the Ghana AU-Civil Society Coalition in mobilizing both international and local CSOs and a cross section of the media to promote sensitization activities on the proposed Union Government. It was also in 2007 that IDEG started the Ghana Speaks lecture/seminar series in collaboration with one of the nation’s top radio stations, Joy FM. The lecture/Seminar Series are designed to promote informed discussions on critical issues on national development and good governance.
IDEG currently convenes four networks as follows:
The Growth and Poverty Forum (GPF), constituted by about 30 national civil society and private sector organizations, at the national level dedicated to fostering regular dialogue on national economic development between policy makers, development partners and civil society;
The Governance Issues Forum (GIFNet) - a network of individual citizens, traditional leaders, civil society, other private sector actors as well as state actors who have undergone training in public deliberation – provided by IDEG - to address governance and community development issues -in 15 districts at the local level, spread across 8 of Ghana’s 10 administrative regions;
The Civic forum Initiative (CFI), a broad coalition of civil society organizations whose membership is drawn from advocacy NGOs, faith-based organizations, community based organizations, youth groups, policy think tanks, labour organizations, gender groups, and individual citizens, committed to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
The National Consultative group (NCG) on the NGO, composed of both individual NGOs and networks in Ghana working together with the Government of Ghana (GoG), with the objective of developing a desirable NGO legislation governing NGOs in Ghana.
IDEG’s activities are financed through grants. Its major partner is the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)