Decentralisation focal persons from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) have been sensitized on the new EU support programme to decentralisation – the Ghana Decentralisation Support Programme (Phase II) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). In January 2018, the Government of Ghana and the EU renewed their commitment to decentralisation reform by signing a new agreement for a second phase of the programme.
It is expected to facilitate the transfer of a maximum amount of EUR 40 million to support the budget of the Government of Ghana for fiscal years2018-2020 and support the implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy. The EU supported phase one of the GDSP component 1&2 which ended in October 2017.
To reinforce the crucial role focal persons and their respective MDAs are expected to play, it was essential to sensitize them on the new programme particularly with regards to key deliverables and conditions for disbursements. The two main disbursements modalities shall be through fixed and variable tranches. In all there are 8 Result Indicators.
The new programme includes complimentary measures in the form of technical assistance to boost the capacity of the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralisation for policy development, monitoring and resolution of implementation bottlenecks which include but not limited to institutional constraints due to sub optimal operating systems between sector ministries and MMDAs in the areas of Local Economic Development (LED), Gender Mainstreaming, mobilization of Internally Generated Funds, central government’s transfer of appropriations to devolved sectors across MMDAs and development of manuals for the civil service and key central government ministries in relation to devolved functions to MMDAs.
Speaking at the workshop, the Ag. Executive Secretary of the IMCC, Ing. Salifu Mahama commended the focal persons for the progress made so far and encouraged them to continue working hard to ensure a successful implementation of the new program. He emphasized that government remains committed to decentralisation as articulated in the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017 -2024), which is the government’s vison for development.
He reiterated that, the new programme comes under the overarching Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) to Decentralisation with an objective to build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels for sustainable development through the implementation of Ghana’s overarching National Decentralisation Programme.
Ing Mahama announced that, the Government of Ghana has mainstreamed the good practices of the District Development Facility (DDF) into the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) through the responsiveness factor. According to him, a new assessment tool known as the District Assemblies Performance Assessment Tool (DPAT) will replace the Functional Organizational Assessment Tool (FOAT) and this will be used to assess the performance of MMDAs to determine their allocations of the District Assemblies Common Fund Responsiveness Factor Grant (DACF RFG).
Making a statement on behalf of the Head of Local Government Service, the Chief Director, Mr Joseph Dasana reiterated his support for the new program and expressed the view that it will complement the efforts of the Office of the Head of Local Government Service (OHLGS) towards effective service delivery.
The facilitators took participants through the programme, its general and specific objectives, its key performance indicators, its performance monitoring and reporting, its organizational set-up and responsibilities, its general and specific criteria for disbursements and many others in their presentations. Participants were also updated on the implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy framework and Action Plan.
In a related development, the facilitators introduced participants particularly the focal persons to the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) to Decentralisation. Participants also took the chance to update on key progress in the sector and were hopeful the new program will bring significant reform to the sector.
Making a statement at the end of the programme, The Head, Office of the Head of Civil Service, Nana Agyekum Dwamena commended the IMCC Secretariat for taking the initiative to build the capacity of focal persons on the Ghana Decentralisation Support Programme Phase II. He also urged the focal persons to make use of the available resources to facilitate their core mandate, which is imperative to decentralisation.