SEND GHANA and HIVOS People Unlimited Organization complemented efforts of government, parliament and other institutions in ensuring good governance through the implementation of the “Promotion Development Effectiveness through transparent and accountable management of the District Development Facility (DDF)”.
The DDF Project implementation commenced with an inception meeting held in Accra on November 19, 2015 where stakeholders were introduced to the project with the objective to promote local ownership and build synergies among stakeholders within and beyond its implementation period.
The implementation of the DDF Project was largely hinged on the lessons and experiences drawn from the success of the DACF project implemented by SEND GHANA between 2008 and 2012.
With a £200,000 funding support from HIVOS, SEND GHANA and its local development partners including local assemblies and Focal Non-Governmental Organisations (FNGOs) implemented a set of interventions, notably the use of social and public accountability tools, to strengthen citizens’ oversight of capital development projects in their respective district assemblies.
Making information on capital projects available and accessible to citizens to enable them independently monitor and assess the planning and execution of these projects was critical in the implementation of this project. In cases where such projects were either poorly executed or not even executed at all, citizens were supported to engage effectively with their respective public officers to ask relevant questions in their quest to demand improved performance.
Unlike the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), very little was known by citizens about the existence of the District Development Facility (DDF). Most citizens were largely unaware of the DDF because information was usually not readily available and even where information exists; it is largely couched in technical terms making it incomprehensible to ordinary citizens.
As a result, citizens were unable to engage duty bearers on effective use of the fund for the benefit of the poor and the marginalised in Ghana.
Results 1: Increased citizens awareness and understanding on the administration of DDF (DDF Framework, the Functional and Organisational Assessment Tool FOAT as well as guidelines for the management and utilization of DDF resources)
A total of 3,750 community actors were directly reached with policy literacy sensitization on the DDF. This number exceeded the expected target to reach 300 community members across the 30 beneficiary districts.
An estimated total of 1,288,330 people were reached via the use of mass media, resulting in an average of ten listeners calling or sending, SMS to seek clarifications or ask questions during each of the eight radio programmes held across the four regions.
Results 2: Increases capacity of citizens to hold MMDAs accountable in the management and utilization of DDF Resources
67 District Citizens Monitoring Committee (DCMC) members in the 4 project regions (Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East and Upper West) acquired skills in budget tracking and applied it to gather evidence of utilization of the DDF resources in their districts.
The views of 330 citizens’ on the management of the DDF were collated and analyzed to produce a report with recommendations to stakeholders. 1,500 copies of the report were shared with stakeholders including Parliament and local and national government officials as well as the media.
Results 3: Facilitated citizens-government engagement on DDF
Organized policy dialogue sessions on DDF Monitoring Report in 15 Districts across the 4 project regions.
Held 1 national Dialogue with key stakeholders (DDF secretariat, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance, Regional Coordinating Council, District Assemblies, Media, DCMCs and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
A total of 95 commitments were secured by DCMCs from Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) regarding the management and utilization of DDF resources. 72% of these commitments were either completely fulfilled or were in progress by the end of the project in November 2017.
Formal closure: The DDF project came to a formal close on Thursday, 16th November, 2017 at a close out conference in Accra
Figure 2 Launch of DDF Monitoring Report in Accra
Figure 3: DDF project Close out conference