The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) is at the final stage of implementing an international peer review among three African local authorities, aimed at improving service delivery.
The review, which involves the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) and the Gambia Association of Local Authorities (GALGA), forms part of a five-million Euro project, initiated in 2010 to support and promote transnational exchange of lessons and good practices.
Briefing the media on the project in Accra at the weekend, Alhaji Mohammed Doku, president of NALAG, said the peer review was being implemented in selected districts including Suhum, Atebubu-Amantin and Gomoa.
He said that the ‘STRAP’ project involved 15 local authorities and three local associations from Ghana, the Gambia and Zimbabwe with a representation of five persons each from each of participating countries.
Mutually agreed indicators for the review encompass are four thematic areas namely, quality service delivery, transparency and accountability, participatory governance, gender and equity, he stated.
Alhaji Doku hinted that by July, Ghana would have completed its review after which the Zimbabwe local council would be subjected to the review.
He said the project was initially scheduled to run from 2011-2013 but was stalled due to technical challenges that pushed it further to this year.
Alhaji Dokunoted that deepening local governance and decentralization was a sure way to development, stressing that experiential learning and sharing was a critical part of the process.
“This review will mark the beginning of a learning process that would be translated into improved service delivery in our respective countries,” said Alhaji Doku.
“Hopefully if everything falls in place as planned, NALAG will return the visit to UCAZ from July 4 to 17, to conduct a peer review to deepen its understanding of the international peer review and to consolidate further learning,” he added.
His Worship Councilor, M. Modzeoke, Vice-president of UCAZ, said that after the peer review processes had been completed among the three local authorities, best practices would be documented.
Mrs. Agnes Naa Momo Lartey, NALAG General Secretary, said the association was elated to be partnered with the two other local authorities in the EU-funded project and expressed the hope that the process would yield benefits and opportunities that would strengthen the partnership.
By Samuel Nuamah