Local government authorities have been advised to see the District League Table (DLT) as a tool for development and not a means to name and shame districts that are not doing well.
Speaking at a meeting with representatives of Ga- South District, Ambassador Francis Tsegah, Senior Research Fellow at the Ghana Center Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), said the DLT provides a tool for accountability and supports citizens’ access to information and knowledge on rights on development in their Districts. He said it is also aimed at helping government better understand and monitor development across the country.
“Our decentralization system is not yet perfected and central government is still very much involved in the allocation of resources. The aim is not to name and shame district assemblies because we know that most of the work that should be done is based on the resources that come from central government. The DLT rather enables you to find out how you are doing, compared to other districts in the country and stirs the citizens to put a little pressure on the local assemblies with the hope that the central government will allocate the resources to districts that need to improve,” he said.
He added that poor performance of districts on the league table can be attributed to inequity in the allocation of resources, inability to raise Internally Generated Funds, or poor leadership.
Representatives of Ga South District paid a working visit to CDD-Ghana to seek more details about the criteria and means of assessment for the DLT.
According to Francis Abofrah, Development Planning Officer of Ga South District, the discussions held with CDD-Ghana will provide valuable input for the district’s medium-term consolidated plan, and help them perform better than their current 203th rank.
“The DLT has highlighted the weaknesses in our planning and overall performance. It has prompted us to want to re-strategize, refocus and resolve the issues that we have control over, such as, education, health and sanitation,” he said.
Produced by CDD-Ghana and UNICEF Ghana, the District League Table (DLT) ranks the level of development in each of Ghana’s 216 Districts, in the bid to strength social accountability between the state and its citizens for development. Produced annually with the support of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Office of the Head of Local Government Service., it ranks them in terms of their delivery in six key sectors: health, education, sanitation, water, security and governance.
In 2017, the Ga South District ranked 203th nationally with a district league score of 55.7%, a decline from their 191th position in 2016. The district performed well in areas such as governance (98%), education (87.5%) and health, which more than doubled from 27.7% recorded in 2016 to 67.3%. However, in what seems to be a threat to public health, the district scored 0% in sanitation.
According to Patience Ackah-Tyireku, Ga South Municipal Environmental Health Officer, the data has spurred them on to put more effort into the promotion of toilet facilities, so as to attain Open Defecation Free Status.
“We have started actively engaging residents in the community about the importance of putting up toilet facilitates, while prosecuting households who refuse to do so,” she said.
Efua Idan Atadja, Communications Officer