The Tema Metropolitan Assembly is the Ghana District League Table’s (DLT) highest ranking district in 2017, returning for a second year in the top spot after being kicked out of 1st place by La Nkwantanang-Madina in 2016. This means, Tema has Ghana’s highest level of development – scoring the highest ever score of 80. The 216th position however, went to Krachi East in the Volta Region with a score of just 50.6.
Produced annually since 2014 by UNICEF Ghana and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), with the collaboration of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Office of the Head of Local Government Service, the District League Table assesses the level of development in all 216 Districts across the country by ranking their level of wellbeing. The DLT is the only tool in Ghana that allows stakeholders to track the progress of development across the country to determine which districts are making progress and which are struggling and need greater support. The Table aims to improve transparency and accountability in national development by making progress public.
Overall, the DLT proves that Ghana is making progress in development, although at a gradual rate as the average score has improved. However, with an eventual target of a score of 100, the majority of Districts are still far from this goal. Furthermore, the gap between the top and bottom remains large as Tema’s level of development is 60% better than Krachi East’s.
Surprising findings this year include the fact that the Upper West region – considered one of Ghana’s poorest – had the highest average regional score. This is due to reasonably high indicators in its Districts across the DLT sectors1. In particular, the region has some of the highest rates of communities that have ended open defecation, although its education indicators are still low.
Another key result is that being a District with a high level of poverty does not necessarily mean that it will score poorly in the DLT. This implies that other factors, such as infrastructure, isolation, leadership, or climate are also important. The findings also show that funding allocations to the local level from the Government’s District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) are not allocated in favour of struggling Districts. The more deprived Districts at the bottom of the DLT are not receiving greater support to help them face their challenges.
Sarah Hague, Chief of Policy for UNICEF said “While it is encouraging that Ghana’s overall level of development appears to be slightly improving, we should be concerned that the gap between the top and the bottom of the District League Table remains so large. We encourage Government to more effectively target resources based on need to those Districts that are struggling most”.
Franklin Oduro, CDD-Ghana’s Deputy Director indicated that “it is important for citizens and key duty-bearers, particularly at the district level to use the findings in the DLT report to engage in evidence-informed dialogue and discussion of the pathways to improve district development outcomes.”
Contact: Justice Baidoo, UNICEF, 0244 051 293; and Efua Idan Osam, CDD-Ghana, 024-2147970