PUBLIC servants in Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMAs) who fail to provide information for the evaluation of how their programmes and projects interdiction are impacting on the wellbeing of the people, will be sanctioned.
The sanctions include the withholding of the salaries of such officials and their interfiction for further investigations.
The Planning Regulation Legislative Instrument (LI), to give the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the power to crack the whip on such officials, is before Parliament for consideration, Deputy Director, Monitoring and Evaluation of the commission, Nana Opare- Djan, disclosed this in Accra yesterday.
Evaluation and monitoring, are key component in determining the success or otherwise of programme implementation and are used for evidence based-decision-making.
Speaking at a media dialogue to usher in the launch of the International Evaluation Year (IEY) 2015, set aside by the UN General Assembly to highlight the significance of evaluation in development processes, Nana Opare- Djan explained that the Commission would hold further consultation with Parliament before the L.I would be official laid for the 21-day maturity count.
The media dialogue was jointly organsied by the NDPC, Ghana Monitoring and Evaluation Forum, African Evaluation Association and the UNICEF to whip up interest of journalists in monitoring and evaluation to deepen accountability in the country.
He said the NDPC, which had the mandate to ensure that policies and programmes were effectively carried out to enhance the wellbeing and living conditions of Ghanaians, did not have the legislative backing to do that, giving rise to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), who were the implementing agencies, to default in the submission of their annual progress reports.
Nana Opare-Djan said the presentations of the annual progress reports, would enable the Commission to identify gaps in policy implementation for the necessary remedial actions to be effected for scrutiny.
He underscored the significance of monitoring and evaluation, lamenting that monitoring had been given much attention than evaluation which was expected to give a snapshot of the effectiveness of a propramme or project at an end point.
“Government must deem evaluation as something of value, by developing capacities of people so that monitoring and evaluating become part and parcel of our culture,” Nana Opare-Djan said, and stressed on the need by government to allocate much resources to the area.
The Director- General of the NDPC, Dr Nii Noi Thompson, said the country had not been doing well in administrative data generation and record keeping, explaining that there was the tendency of personalization of public information making it difficult for people to have access to them.
“We need to move away from that attitude,” Dr Thompson said, adding that “we at the NDPC are taking the lead in generating and making information available for the citizen to engage in civic auditing towards ensuring public accountability”.
He assured that in two weeks, the NDPC would publish on its website 2000 different policy documents to to inform public discussions and get the citizenry actively involved in the development discourse.
In another presentation, Dr Charles Amoatey of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, said a study by the Centre for Learning Evaluation and Results in a number of African countries including Ghana, showed a low interest in the use of evaluation by both the executive and Parliament inform decision-making.
He said although the Ministries, Departments and Agencies had monitoring and evaluation there was weak capacity in that area, adding that much of the monitoring and evaluation activities were being outsourced to consultants.
He, however, noted a strong capacity in monitoring and evaluation in the ministries of Agric, Health, Finance, adding that the Functional Organisation Assessment Tool used to assess the activities of the MMDAs was a very good example of an evaluation tool which could further be developed into an effective tool.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman