A National Stakeholders Dialogue was held in Accra yesterday, to discuss a report on the impact of the District Development Facility (DDF) programme.
The programme, which was attended by officials of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Regional Coordinating Councils, Civil Service, as well as the media, dilated on the report titled “Financing Local Development Projects: A Look at District Development Facility.”
The DDF was initiated by the government to raise resources to support those Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) performing well in improving service delivery in terms of environmental sanitation and designing public projects to be friendly to the physically-challenged.
Funded by the World Bank and the government of Ghana, DDF has so far raised more than GH¢700 million which has been disbursed to the MDDAs,
Highlighting on the report, Mukaila Adamu, Civil Society Advisor on the People for Health Project of SEND-Ghana, said SEND-Ghana received funding this year from Hivos, an international non-governmental organisation, to conduct a study to assess whether the DDF was having a positive impact on the performance of the MMDAs and the society.
He said the study, completed in May this year, was to examine the flow of DDF funds and the utilisation of funds by the districts and also to create awareness on the DDF.
Mr. Adamu observed that due to the low public awareness on the programme; the citizens could not hold the MMDAs to account for their mandate.
He explained that access to the DDF was determined by performance after an annual assessment of each MMDA using the Functional and Organisational Assessment Tool (FOAT),” he said.
“The study revealed that the number of MMDAs which have qualified for the DDF increased from 38 per cent to 90 per cent in 2013, saying between 2008 and 2013, the number of assemblies qualifying for DDF increased from 6 to 26 in the Northern Region, from 4 to 11 in the Upper West, four to 13 districts in the Upper East and from zero to 16 in the Greater Accra Region,” he said.
Mr. Adamu said the study recommended that the MLFRD and the DDF Secretariat, as a matter of urgency, must speed up with the FOAT assessment, and also with the disbursement of funds to the assemblies to ensure full implementation of the programmes of the assemblies.
Key speakers at the programme, Nana Dwamena Agyekum, Head of Civil Service, Joseph Antwi, the Head of Fiscal Decentralisation Unit at the Ministry of Finance, George Gyapani Ackah, Regional Economic Planning Officer for the Greater Accra Region, and Allhassan Amidu, Head of Inspectorate Unit of MLGRD pledged their commitment to ensure the success of the programme, which ends in 2018.
According to them, the DDF had helped to improve infrastructure and service delivery at the local level.