General News of Wednesday, 9 December 2015
A research by the Center for Democratic Development, Ghana (CDD) Ghana has revealed that 90 percent of the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies are incapable of delivering on their mandate due to lack of financial and logistical support.
The research also identified the delay in the issuance of the planning guidelines by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) which also leads to the late commencement of the planning process in the MMDAs.
This, the research said is gradually undermining the relevance of planning in the Local Government system.
As a result of this deficit, key projects in the MMDAs are implemented without the approval by the NDPC.
The research further revealed that the 1st and 2nd major public hearings which were mandatory by law for MMDAs to organise were not conducted in a significant number of district assemblies. The report showed that seven out of every ten MMDAs representing 70 percent did not hold the two mandatory public hearing.
The findings added that MMDAs do not support the preparation of community or local action plans which is required to enhance the bottom-up planning process and to broaden stakeholder consultation in the planning process.
These findings were made available at a validation work on the draft observation report on enhancing civil society monitoring of the preparation of the 2014-2017 district medium term development plans for evidence based advocacy in Tamale.
The CDD in collaboration with the Support for Decentralisation Reforms (SfDR) of the German Cooperation (GIZ) implemented a one year project in 2014 that built the capacity of 40 civil society organisations in Ghana.
The rationale was for them to observe and report on the level of adherence of MMDAs in the application of the planning guidelines issued by the NDPC for the preparation of the 2014-2017 medium team development plan.
The project sought to monitor the process to enhance civil society participation in the planning process and provide useful lessons and recommendations to strengthen planning within MMDAs in Ghana.
The research further added that only 48 percent of MMDAs facilitated the preparation of the sub-district plans.
On the awareness campaign, the study found that eight out of every ten people were not aware of the sensitization activities that needed to be carried out by the MMDAs before the commencement of the 2014-2017 planning process.
The findings recommended an institutional audit that would lead to the strengthening of all district planning coordinating units in Ghana to enable them deliver on their mandates.
The findings further recommended that the NCCE be resourced to deepen public education on laws and regulations on planning to create awareness and strengthen social accountability at the local level.