Highlighting World Bank Projects In Ghana
The World Bank launched a new Access to Information policy in 2010 that represented a fundamental shift in the Bank’s approach to disclosure of information.
The new policy shifted to default disclosure all information (minus a list of exceptions). This level of enhanced transparency and accountability allows for greater monitoring of Bank-supported projects, thereby enabling better development results, as well as providing an opportunity to better track the use of public funds. This update highlights the status of World Bank supported projects.
Ghana Urban Water Project
The above US$153 million project is being implemented by the Ghana Water Company Limited, with the objective of significantly increasing access to the piped water system in Ghana’s urban centers, with emphasis on improving access, affordability and service reliability to the urban poor, and restoring long-term financial stability, viability and sustainability of the Ghana Water Company Limited.
According to information released by World Bank Ghana Office, out of the US$153 million, US$73.4 million has been spent on the project which commenced on 2005. It is expected to complete in December, 2015.
The bank added that US$89.68 million, US$15.19million, US$8.74million and US$13.90 million were spent on the System Expansion and Rehabilitation, Public-Private Partnership Development, Capacity Building and Project Management, Severance Program components of the project.
The World Bank was quick to say: “Some of the ongoing works under the Subsequent Year Investment Program (SYIP) have experienced delays for reasons mostly outside the control of the Project Management Unit. The issues have been addressed but progress needs to be closely monitored to avoid further delays”.
An additional financing of US$50 million has been provided that will allow to tender the works planned at the Brong Ahafo and Upper East Regions and the additional works at Winneba in the Central Region. The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) is tracking progress of the investments and their impact in some of the project areas, it continued.
Nutrition and Malaria Control for Child Survival Project
The US$25 million project is being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service. Since the commencement of the project in September 2007, an amount of US$20.4 million has been disbursed.
This project is expected to close in March 2013, is aimed at improving utilization of selected community-based health and nutrition services for children under the age of two and pregnant women in the selected districts.
The delays encountered during the first two years of the project have now been fully overcome and project scale up has reached its intended targets, resulting in improved performance of project development indicators.
The project now reaches a total of 77 Districts in the six target Regions, trained more than 2,000 health staff and close to 10,000 volunteer growth promoters. Approximately 2,500 communities are implementing growth promotion strategies.
All the four Project Development Objective indicators have already attained or surpassed their end-of-project targets for four of the six project beneficiary regions. More than 600,000 children under the age of 2 are benefiting from the project.
Component 1 on institutional strengthening for coordination, implementation and outcomes: the project has completed the development of;
(i) the National Nutrition Policy (NNP); and
(ii) the Nutrition Advocacy Strategy; while (iii) the post-National Immunization Days (NID) Strategy for vitamin A supplementation (VAS) is at an advanced stage.
In terms of the intermediate indicators, two of the four indicators on supervision and the development of a National Nutrition Policy (NNP) have met the end-of-project target and the third indicator on the number of health staff trained is on track to meeting the target.
Component 2 on Community-Based Health and Nutrition Service Delivery is seeing considerable progress: this Component is at the heart of the project and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has worked hard to strengthen its performance.
The various steps of introducing community growth promotion in the Districts through orientation workshops, training of health workers, planning and budgeting of activities, training of volunteer growth promoters, and baseline surveys, have been institutionalized and program roll-out has been taking place smoothly.
Overall, this project Component is well on track to attain the majority of targets of the intermediate outcome indicators with two of the three intermediate indicators having met or surpassed the end-of-project target while the third is close to being achieved.
Progress on Component 3 on Malaria Prevention has been steady such that the intermediate indicators will meet their targets. The first indicator on the proportion of households with at least one long-lasting net has already attained its target, while the second indicator on the number of bed nets purchased and distributed will be met by November 30, 2012, when the delivery of four hundred and fifty thousand malaria bed nets would be completed.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is being institutionalized from the community level up to central level, and the quality of information has improved. Timely communication of monitoring reports still remains a challenge which is not just limited to the community nutrition program.
In response to this challenge, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is setting up a consolidated electronic District Health Information System, which ultimately can make original data accessible to all stakeholders in the health sector. The system is under development and incorporating the M&E systems of the various programs
Key Decisions Regarding Implementation: (i) In order to improve the functioning of the oversight committees at the district and community levels, the Regional Health and District Health Management Teams will carry out massive sensitization programs for the district chief executive officers and community leaders about the importance of the program and their participation in it.
(ii) With support from the World Bank, the project implementation team will develop participatory mechanisms to strengthen collaboration among key actors at the district and community levels, and improve community participation in M&E processes. The participatory monitoring process will also aim to enhance accountability and responsibility of key players in the delivery of the project activities at the community level.
(iii) The computerized monitoring and evaluation system was rolled out to all project districts by November 30, 2012.
Social Opportunities Project
The above project is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government. Out of US$88.6 million, an amount of US$30.6 million has so far been disbursed. It is expected to complete 2016.
The objectives of the Project are to improve targeting in social protection spending, increase access to conditional cash transfers nationwide, increase access to employment and cash-earning opportunities for the rural poor during the agricultural off-season, and improve economic and social infrastructure in target districts.
Component 1- Rationalize National Social Protection Policy. A contract was signed with International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 14th September 2012 for the national social protection strategy. The strategy, according to World Bank will guide progress and implementation on rationalization of social protection expenditures.
Work commenced 17th September 2012 and is expected to be completed in March 2013. Recruitment of full complement of contract staff (International and National Consultants) and an inception workshop for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) currently working on Social Protection programs in Ghana was completed.
-Component 2 – Labor Intensive Public Works (LIPW). The annual work-plan has been approved for 2012 and progress is underway including capacity building efforts in 40 districts.
-Component 3 – The number of beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) cash transfers increased from 68,557 in April to 71,456 beneficiaries as of September 2012, of which 70% of the recipients are female.
Several operational and technical issues related to the implementation of LEAP have been accelerated including finalizing the operations manual. Efforts related to pilot electronic payments for LEAP are underway. The piloting of the payments is expected to commence in January 2013.
The MIS system is being upgraded and LEAP data will be migrated. The Common Targeting Mechanism (CTM) activities including sensitization/training and data collection of Community based targeting (CBT) has been completed in 10 districts. Proxy Means Testing (PMT) data has also been collected in the 10 districts.
Data on the 10,000 + households of the CBT & PMT is currently being processed using the temporarily developed MIS. The next step includes providing training on community validation before the data is sent to the districts and communities for validation.
A planned training of district teams on district and community social protection committees will take place in November, 2012 in two phases; one for the northern zone and the other for the southern zone.
-Component 4 – Capacity Building and Project Management and Coordination. Capacity Building activities were carried out to facilitate implementation of component two at the regional, district and community levels. The national policy in support of LIPW with its accompanying Cabinet Memo has been submitted to Cabinet and is receiving attention. It is expected that this will be approved before the end of year 2012.
-Component 5 – The Project Management team has been active and several technical review meetings, field visits and consultations have been held since project inception to assess implementation performance and determine appropriate actions to enhance the achievement of expected project outcomes.
Statistics Development Program (MDTF)
The US$6.2m project is being implemented by the Ghana Statistical Service. The objective of the Project is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Ghana Statistical System to enable it to provide reliable, timely and accurate data for evidence-based policy making in support of the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) implementation has continued its positive trajectory since January 2012, with substantial progress on implementation in particular since May 2012. There has been progress across all four project components but in particular in strengthening Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) capacity (component 2) and in the post-enumeration activities of the census (component 4).
Work on elements of institutional reform (component 1) has continued but not made as much progress as envisaged by GSS due to extended stakeholder discussions with Public Services Commission (on the organogram and staff assignments) and Local Government Service (on integration of statisticians at district level). Staff engagement on the reform process continues.
On strengthening GSS capacity work on the ICT elements has started and advanced quickly with Local Area Network ( LAN) almost complete at Headquarters, the user hardware and software contracts awarded, the enterprise architecture consultancy complete and the GIS unit now fully equipped, staffed and trained.
The Statistics Trainer has completed their assignment and undertaken a number of training courses with GSS staff. Other training consultancies will be taken forward in 2013.
***The author is the Business Editor of The Chronicle and also CAJ News Agency Ghana Bureau Chief. CAJ News Agency is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org***