Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA’s) have taken their eyes off sanitation issues, the 2020 District League Table (DLT) has revealed.
Dr. Kojo Mensah-Abrampa, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), speaking at the launch of the 2020 DLT in Accra on Thursday, therefore, charged the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD) and the Local Assemblies to focus on measures that would address the shortfalls.
“I am also very happy that we focus on water and sanitation. The water we are doing good but sanitation we are not bridging the gap, so if you look at the League Table, you will see there is the need for a lot of efforts to be channelled there,” he said.
Dr. Mensah-Abrampa also challenged partners to look at the five key indicators – Education; Water and Sanitation; Health, Communication and Information Communication Technology to get an E-Guidance that would help develop specific guidelines to the identified gaps.
The DLT, which is a tool for tracking national development, highlights districts that are performing well and ones, which are handicapped.
It was developed by the NDPC in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
It provides the vision, goals and objectives, as well as strategic direction for the development of the nation.
The analysis, which was conducted in 2020 through gathered data from 261 districts, focused on 17 indicators.
The progress of the indicators was assessed based on the implementation of policies, programmes and projects towards national development.
The Report, dubbed “Generating Evidence For Addressing Unequal Access to Services and Development Opportunities for Children”, was prepared to operationalise government’s coordinated programme for economic and social development.
Out of the 261 districts assessed, the Adentan Municipal Assembly, emerged the overall best Assembly in the area of water and sanitation with a score of 94. 46 per cent.
Four out of the top ten districts also came from the Greater Accra Region, followed by Central, Northern, Ashanti and Western.
Mr. Richard Fidieley, Director, Information Management, MLGDRD, who spoke on behalf of Mr. Daniel Kweku Botwe, the Minister for MLGDRD, said the Ministry was much aware of the substantial differences in the development levels among all districts, adding that the ranking of the district according to the sectors and indicators would help MMDAs to do better planning, budgeting and resource mobilisation and allocation, to address the most challenging indicators and sectors within the districts.
He said the Ministry would continue to coordinate the conduct of the annual assessment of MMDAs, using the District Assemblies Performance Assessment Tool ( DPAT), which appreciated the value addition of the DLT introducing other indicators that may not be part of the DPAT indicators.
Mr. Fidieley appealed to partners to strengthen and sustain their commitment and ownership of the assessment, to ensure that no child and the vulnerable would be left behind in achieving the medium-term national development goals.
Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, Head of Local Government Service, commended the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and UNICEF for the initiative that collectively developed strategies as a way of seeing and using decentralisation as a development tool.
He said, using the DLT as a basis, it was worthwhile that Metropolitan, MMDAs were accessed based on performance.
He attributed some of the delayed processes to work at the district level to lack of leadership commitment and charged MMDAs to sit up and change their attitudes towards work.
Ms. Anne-Claire Dufay, UNICEF Representative, described the DLT as a necessary tool to access the performance of District Assemblies and alert them on where they could improve.
She said: “The latest DLT shows that the gap in scores between the overall top districts and lowest districts was almost 47 percentage points. In education, the gap between the top and bottom districts is 84 points. And in ICT use, the highest-scoring district had 94.7, while the lowest-ranked district scored zero. This is just an example, highlighting the disparities and inequalities across districts.”
Ms. Dufay pledged UNICEF’s readiness in providing technical assistance, to support evidence-based advocacy that would help strengthen integrated systems, especially in social sectors.
She also expressed delight at the DLT having a range of indicators that primarily focused on children.
In 2014, UNICEF introduced the DLT index in collaboration with the CDD-Ghana.
This initiative has supported NDPC’s role in monitoring and evaluating development outcomes at the subnational level by highlighting the inequalities and disparities in the well being of people across the country.
The DLT provided a multi-sectoral, integrated assessment of how Ghana was developing across all its 261 districts.