Action plan – Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, 2022 – 2024
Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen...: Action plan – Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, 2022 – 2024
Action Plan Submission: 2022
Action Plan End: December 2024
Lead Institution: Development Planning Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Budget and Rating Department of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Environmental Health Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Physical Planning Department of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Public Relations Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Management Information System (MIS) Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Parks and Gardens Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
18th August 2022
In 2016, the city government of Sekondi-Takoradi joined the OGP to harness the benefits a multilateral initiative would offer in strengthening constructive engagements between local reformers in the provision of transformative local solutions that advance the attainment of the UN OGP countries are experimenting with open government innovations to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 16+ which includes peaceful, just and inclusive societies....
The government recognizes that the OGP tenets are necessary guiding principles that ensure that public resources are used efficiently, local public policies are designed in the best interest of citizens and government officials act with integrity. These intrinsically guarantee public trust in government by strengthening the social contract between the local authority and the citizens of Sekondi-Takoradi.
Joining the OGP has resulted in positive change, in terms of the co-creation and implementation of two OGP Local Action Plans (LAP); with commitments in the areas of infrastructure According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More, access to information, inclusive participation, and citizen-centric municipal service delivery. To sustain gains towards the attainment of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly’s (STMA) OGP vision, this 3rd OGP LAP is in harmony with STMA’s Medium-Term Development Plan (2022-2025). Feedback from city-wide citizen engagements, as a precursor to the preparation of the Plan, served as the primary source of data that aided in OGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... prioritization for the OGP LAP3. The Collaboration between government, civil society and other stakeholders (e.g., citizens, academics, private sector) is at the heart of the OGP process. Participating governments must ensure that a dive... also involved a review of the 2nd LAP and synthesis of IRM report which culminated in turning citizens’ priorities into concrete commitments.
The 3rd OGP LAP focuses on enhancing effectiveness in municipal service delivery, strengthening government accountability, and broadening the civic space for ordinary citizens and civil society to actively participate in local governance. It is envisioned that this would put the metropolis on a path that places citizens at the center of development by prioritizing transparency that guarantees accountability, and inclusive development towards a sustainable urban future.
Open Government Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategic Vision
What is the long-term vision for open government in your context and jurisdiction?
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly’s long-term OGP vision is to engender trust and confidence and broaden the participation of citizens in local governance through the creation of an enabling environment that is rooted in sustainable development and open government principles. Our vision finds expression in the priority areas set out in our Medium-Term Development Plan (2022-2025); which places high value on participatory and all-inclusive people-centered governance that creates prosperity and equal opportunity for all.
Our vision undergirds Ghana’s decentralization agenda that is anchored on grass-root participation as a sustainable pathway to charting development and people-centered governance in local public policy-making and implementation. Placing citizens at the core of inclusive and sustainable urban development results in; shared-responsibility and better ownership of policies, unrestrained access to information and better accountability, and increased legitimacy and trust in duty-bearers.
What are the achievements in open government to date (for example, recent open government reforms)?
- Enhanced Transparency and Accountability in Public Infrastructure Delivery. As the first subnational member of CoST International (infrastructure transparency initiative), STMA has adopted and is implementing CoST’s infrastructure data standards (IDS) and launched an online disclosure portal to disclose data at key stages throughout the entire project life-cycle. This has helped to inform and empower citizens and enabled them to hold decision-makers to account.
- Enhanced Civic Participation and Fiscal Transparency. Broadened permanent According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, citizen participation occurs when “governments seek to mobilize citizens to engage in public debate, provide input, and make contributions that lead to m... More opportunities and enhanced proactive disclosure of simplified financial data through collaborations with the Engine Room in the development of infographic templates for data sharing.
- Enhancing permitting and enforcement of Land Use and Spatial Plans. Removed opacity and reduced bureaucratic bottlenecks that hampered permitting processes through the development of a geospatial platform enhance processing and enforcing of development and building permits. This has enabled real-time monitoring and feedback on permitting applications.
- Enhancing Communication and Feedback. Strengthened and equipped Client Service Unit to enhance access to information and proactive disclosure.
- Enhanced Access to Sanitary Services Strengthened collaboration between landlords/residents’ association, civil society and the local government in the design of an architecture of collaboration to impact OGP participating governments are in a unique position to address many of the root causes of water issues, including corruption and poor quality, as well as lack of prioritization, access, equity, and... outcomes in the Metropolis.
What are the current challenges/areas for improvement in open government that the jurisdiction wishes to tackle?
Although Ghana’s local government system has been in existence for over thirty years, reoccurring challenges such as poor engagement between citizens and local government authorities, inefficient delivery of municipal services, and poor accountability mechanisms are major setbacks that are gradually eroding the confidence of citizens in the system. Community and stakeholder consultative sessions leading up to the preparation of STMA’s Medium-Term Development Plan (2022-2025) and the co-creation of this 3rd OGP Local Action Plan (OGP LAP) provided enough evidence of how prevalent these weaknesses in the local government system were. The 3rd LAP would focus on contributing to an improvement in the effectiveness of service delivery, strengthening government accountability, and creating the civic space for ordinary citizens and civil society to actively participate in local governance. Government accountability and transparency are an undergirding factor in trust-building due to their ability to provide strong safeguards against official corruption and abuse, which erodes public faith in government at all levels. Enhancing unfettered access to permissible information strengthens the capacity of citizens and other stakeholder groupings to ensure duty-bearers account for their stewardship. This enables stronger oversight, improves transparency around the feasibility of capital projects, and ensures that government decisions/policies have strong built-in accountability arrangements.
What are the medium-term open government goals that the government wants to achieve?
- Promote the co-creation and joint implementation of inclusive local policies to enhance local government effectiveness in Sekondi-Takoradi
- Promote government accountability, citizen participation, and inclusive urban development
How does this action plan contribute to achieve the Open Government Strategic Vision?
STMA’s OGP strategic vision is geared towards building a responsive local government that expands and sustains permanent opportunities for all citizens to actively participate in local-policy formulation and implementation, as well as the creation of the enabling environment for citizens to enjoy the benefits of urban life.
Specifically, our commitments are intended to eliminate barriers to participation and empower citizens to play an active role in governance, improving access and quality of municipal services, and overcoming the uncertain relationship between transparency and accountability.
How does the open government strategic vision contribute to the accomplishment of the current administration’s overall policy goals?
One of the key priority areas of STMA’s Medium-Term Development Plan (2022-2025), under governance, corruption, and According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, public accountability occurs when ”rules, regulations, and mechanisms in place call upon government actors to justify their actions, act upon criticisms ... More, is to engender citizens’ trust and ownership of government interventions through active citizen engagement. This vision finds expression in the LAP 3 through concrete commitments that foster active citizen participation and government accountability in the delivery of municipal services.
Citizen participation in decision-making, policy formulation, and development activities of local governments is an essential component of Ghana’s decentralization agenda. OGP participating governments are working to create governments that truly serve all people. This includes many historically oppressed groups such as persons with disabilities, women, lesbian, gay, bi... of all voices, including that of the often marginalized, through consultations and mobilization; are directly aligned to government responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of its citizens. This PLAN intends to create an atmosphere of mutual ownership of actions and strengthens efforts aimed at building trust and confidence in government through citizen engagement and active participation.
Engagement and Coordination in the Open Government Strategic Vision and OGP Action Plan
Please list the lead institutions responsible for the implementation of this OGP action plan.
- Development Planning Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- Budget and Rating Department of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- Environmental Health Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- Physical Planning Department of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- Public Relations Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- Management Information System (MIS) Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- Parks and Gardens Unit of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
What kind of institutional arrangements are in place to coordinate between government agencies and departments to implement the OGP action plan?
The Metropolitan Development Planning unit led by the OGP Point of Contact responsible for the Local OGP remains the coordinating and facilitating agency for the purpose of implementing STMA’s 3rd LAP.
The commitments will be implemented by designated Departments and Units led by their heads whose operations reflect the commitments.
Civil Society Organizations, Governments are working to open private sector practices as well — including through beneficial ownership transparency, open contracting, and regulating environmental standards. Technical specificat... More Associations, identified Media, and other Local and International Organizations, Departments, and agencies whose activities are related to specific commitments will collaborate with the lead Department and Units to implement the commitments.
All the lead Departments and Units and their collaborating/supporting CSOs shall report to the Coordinating office (Development Planning Unit) led by the OGP Point of Contact. The OGP Point of contact will collate all reports on implementation and submit them to the Regular dialogue between government and civil society is a core element of OGP participation. It builds trust, promotes joint problem-solving, and empowers civil society to influence the design, imple... (MSF) meetings for deliberations. The MSF will provide technical feedback and assist in mobilizing additional resources to support the implementation of the Plan.
What kind of spaces have you used or created to enable the collaboration between government and civil society in the co-creation and implementation of this action plan? Mention both offline and online spaces.
Working Team: this comprises 9 people (5 men and 4 women) from government, civil society, traditional authorities, the private sector, and a venerable group who reviewed the 2nd LAP and set out the initial goals for the 3rd LAP co-creation process, undertook a stakeholder mapping, developed a community engagement strategy and prepared a workplan.
Community engagement. This platform was used to solicit citizens inputs for the 3rd LAP. A total of 36 communities level meetings were held with strict Adherence to COVID-19 protocols. A total of 679 Participants of which 211 (31%) were female.
Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF): the MSF consists of 40 members representatives: 17 from government; 15 from CSO, media, and vulnerable groups (women, Recognizing that investing in youth means investing in a better future, OGP participating governments are creating meaningful opportunities for youth to participate in government processes. Technical ..., people living with disability and HIV), and 8 from the private sector. The MSF oversees the co-creation process to ensure it is open and inclusive of all stakeholders. The MSF will continue to provide oversight responsibility during the implementation of the 3rd LAP.
MSF WhatsApp platform: A WhatsApp platform has been created to share information and updates during the co-creation and implementation stage.
Web page on STMA website: Although the general public did not make use of this platform during the co-creation, the working team will publicize this platform and make it known to the general public. Implementation updates will be provided via this platform to the general public. Focus group discussions and Key informant interviews were also used.
What measures did you take to ensure diversity of representation (including vulnerable or marginalized populations) in these spaces?
The Working Team conducted a stakeholder mapping to identify all the various stakeholders including marginalized populations like A government is not open unless it is accessible to all, and governments are working to ensure people with disabilities are afforded equitable services and opportunities to participate. Technical spec..., women groups, youth groups, and people living with HIV. They were invited to participate in community engagement meetings, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. Their inputs were sought for the 3rd LAP. These stakeholders also have representation on the Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) and this platform served as the main measures to ensure diversity of representation. Strict adherence to the Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) to ensure diversity of representation: the MSF consists of 40 members representatives: 17 from government; 15 from CSO, media, and vulnerable groups (women, youth, people living with disability and HIV), and 8 from the private sector. The mission/mandate of the MSF is to put into practice OGP’s principle of co-creation between government and civil society. The MSF oversees the OGP process to ensure it is open and inclusive of all stakeholders.
Who participated in these spaces?
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly 3rd LAP which has focused on three key thematic areas namely, Sanitation, Governments are working to increase access to and quality of government services, improve transparency, and create opportunities for participation by using information and communications technologies ... and Climate resilience and different stakeholders’ groups participated in the co-creation namely,
- Government officials/technocrats- 30
- Assembly members (councilors)- 53
- Traditional Authorities- 10
- Non-governmental organisation- 10
- Private Sector (Association of Ghana Industries, Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce, and Industries) -25
- Market Women Associations- 15
- Persons with Disability Association-10
- Network of Persons living with HIV-5
- Youth Groups-3
- Fishermen/Canoe Owners Association-5
- Fishmongers Associations-10
- Community leaders/Citizens -675
- Public/private Schools-25
How many groups participated in these spaces?
How many public-facing meetings were held in the co-creation process?
How will government and non-governmental stakeholders continue to collaborate through the implementation of the action plan?
The STMA’s Working Team led by the OGP Point of Contact, and the Multi Stakeholder Forum will be responsible for tracking progress and providing support to each commitment. The working team and the MSF will develop indicators for tracking progress. The Working Team will also help to troubleshoot challenges experienced during implementation of the LAP III. The MSF will provide leadership in the form of coordination and facilitation to give effect to the translation of the Action Plan into concrete actions and meet quarterly. The National OGP secretariat and the OGP The OGP Support Unit is a small, permanent group of staff that work closely with the Steering Committee and the Independent Reporting Mechanism to advance the goals of the Open Government Partnership.... shall also provide technical backstopping on the implementation of the LAP III.
STMA and its collaborating CSOs, Friends of the Nation, Berea Social Foundation, STMA-CSUF will explore other sources of funding for the implementation of the Action Plan, Monitoring and Evaluating the Action Plan. An independent Monitoring Body has been appointed to conduct independent monitoring under the auspices of the MSF.
Please describe the independent Monitoring Body you have identified for this plan.
The MSF has identified two bodies to conduct the independent Monitoring of the Action Plan 2022-2025
- CSO – Mpuntusem Foundation; a consultancy firm well experienced in monitoring and evaluation and project implementation. The Firm will conduct an independent assessment and evaluation of the co-creation process, the implementation of the OGP LAP III and the results achieved from the implementation of the commitments under the guidance of the OGP Local and the IRM.
- Government Sector: Dr. Matthew Kwaw Somiah (Lecturer Takoradi Technical University). Dr. Matthew has extensive knowledge of the built environment considering projects and program implementation. He has worked with CoST Sekondi-Takoradi to produce two Assurance reports and one Infrastructure Transparency Index survey in the Western Region.
With reference to the OGP handbook, the independent monitoring body identified will perform the following functions: collecting evidence and assessing the co-creation process of the action plan; collecting evidence and assessing the results of completed commitments; leading on the final learning exercise
Provide the contact details for the independent monitoring body.
- Mr. Benjamin Kwesi Amoako, Chief Executive Officer, Mpuntusem Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Matthew Kwaw Somiah, Head of Department, Faculty of Build and Natural Environment, Takoradi Technical University, email@example.com
What types of activities will you have in place to discuss progress on commitments with stakeholders?
The following activities have been earmarked to discuss progress on the commitments with stakeholders.
- Quarterly MSF meetings. Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF): the MSF consists of 40 members: 17 representatives from government; 15 representatives from civil society organizations, media, and vulnerable groups (women, youth, persons living with disability and HIV), and 8 representatives from the private sector. The mission/mandate of the MSF is to put into practice OGP’s principle of co-creation between government and civil society. The MSF oversees the OGP process to ensure it is open and inclusive of all stakeholders.
- Bi-yearly town hall meetings
- Quarter Metropolitan Planning and Coordinating Unit (MPCU) meetings
- Radio discussions
- Community engagement meetings
- The MSF will constitute a team to gather the views and concerns of a broad range of impacted stakeholders with an emphasis on those who might be vulnerable or marginalized and ensuring the full participation of marginalized groups.
How will you regularly check in on progress with implementing agencies?
The Action Plan Coordinating Office led by the OGP Point of Contact will organize bi-monthly in-person visits to lead Departments and Units to check on progress.
The Working Team will hold quarterly follow-ups with the implementing agencies through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and a WhatsApp group to discuss the progress of implementation. There will be bi-yearly review meetings with the implementing agencies to discuss the progress of implementation. The feedback will be collated to feed the MSF meetings.
How will you share the results of your monitoring efforts with the public?
The result of the monitoring efforts will be shared first with the MSF at their quarterly meetings. It will also be shared at the Assembly’s Metropolitan Planning Coordinating Unit (MPCU) quarterly meetings.
The independent monitoring body will be invited to the Assembly’s Town hall meetings to share the results. Radio discussions on the results will be organized. The OGP point of contact, technical working team, and independent monitoring body will be the panel. The results will also be shared on the OGP webpage on the STMA website.
Endorsement from Non-Governmental Stakeholders
- Victoria Araba Dennis, Executive Director, Africa Women International,
- Eugene Fredua Ofori-Atta, Chairman-CoST Sekondi-Takoradi Multi-Stakeholder Group, CoST International
- MEVUTA Donkris), Executive Director, Friends of the Nation, An essential part of open government includes protecting the sacred freedoms and rights of all citizens, including the most vulnerable groups, and holding those who violate human rights accountable. T... Development Foundation
- Eva Ankrah, Executive Director, Hurds Foundation Ghana,
- Aziz Mahmoud, Project Manager, 3. STMA Cityward Settlement Upgrading Fund, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
- Ebo Baker, Project Officer, Berea Social Foundation, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition
- Richmond Agbanyakilu, Programme Coordinator, Western Region Association of Non-Governmental Organisation