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 – Shama, Ghana, 2021 – 2024
Action Plan Submission: 2021
Action Plan End: October 2024
Lead Institution: Office of the District Coordinating Director, Shama District Assembly, District Planning Coordinating Unit, Shama District Assembly, Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Shama District Assembly, Programme Coordinating Office, Friends of the Nation (FoN), a Non-Governmental Stakeholder, Regional Office, Minerals Commission, Ministry of Land and OGP participating governments are improving transparency and citizen participation in natural resource governance to help detect corruption, safeguard community interests, and support environmental su..., Regional Office, Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of MESTI, Regional Association, Commercial Quary Operators of Ghana, District Secretariat of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation of Ghana, District Office, Information Service Department, District Office, National Commission for Civic Accountability within the public education system is key to improving outcomes and attainment, and accountability is nearly impossible without transparent policies and opportunities for participation ..., District Environmental Health Department, Shama District Assembly
21st August 2021
Local governance has been touted as the tool for rapid development, providing a quicker, less costly, more accessible service and delivers the felt needs of the people. However, this cannot be achieved without an open and transparent governance system. Conscious of this, we decided join the The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (OGP) in October, 2020 to secure concrete commitments from national and subnational governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
It is therefore a great joy that I assume a prime position in preparing this maiden OGP Local Action Plan which introduces innovations through technology/Social Accountability model (projects/programmes geo-evidence dashboard) and to increase citizens’ access to information, participation in local governance processes and becoming more responsive to the development needs of its citizenry. It is a victory for the citizens as greater opportunities exist to work together with citizens to uphold the open government values of 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, accountability, 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... and participation and set out a framework for standard worthy of emulation.
Through development partners notably Friends of the Nation (FoN), GIZ and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, we have been pursuing strategic measures (People’s Forum, Town Hall Meetings, Participatory Planning and Budgeting, Innovative Revenue Mobilization, Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, Accountability and Transparency Mechanisms) that create enabling environment for the citizenry to fully and effectively participate in our activities.
Leveraging on the OGP, we strives to consolidate the gains while achieving new outcomes i.e. enhancing community benefits in the extractive industry by establishing a “Quarry Development Fund” and empowering women and persons with disability to participate in local governance through affirmative action and improve citizens’ access to information.
Open Government Challenges, Opportunities and Strategic Vision
What is the long-term vision for open government in your context and jurisdiction?
The Long Term Vision of the Shama OGP LAP 1 are stated below:
- To leverage the OGP programme as a great opportunity for the Assembly and citizens to work together to;
- promote open government (i.e. strengthening transparency and Transparency of public service delivery is not enough on its own; giving citizens opportunities to monitor progress on the ground and hold their governments accountable improves the quality of these s... model using expanded Geo-spatial dashboard), empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance and upheld these values at the sub-district level.
- enhance community benefits in the extractive industry through the establishment of a fund regime dubbed “Quarry Development Fund” and make the Assembly more responsive to the development needs of its citizenry.
- SDA desires to use this initiative with innovations through technology (expanded Geo spatial dash board) to increase citizens’ access to information on local development and empower women and PWDs to effectively participate in local governance through affirmative action and set a framework for standard worthy of emulation by others while achieving the OGP values and principles.
The above form the fulcrum of the drives in the OGP programme of the Shama district. Maximum efforts will therefore be exhibited in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the successful achievement of the said long term vision.
What are the achievements in open government to date (for example, recent open government reforms)?
Over the past decade, the Assembly has been pursuing strategic measures that create the enabling environment for the citizenry to fully and effectively participate in its activities. Notable among them are the civic participation programmes including but not restricted to the following: People’s Forum, Town Hall Meetings, Participatory Planning and Budgeting, Innovative Revenue Mobilization, Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, Accountability and Transparency Mechanisms, among others. With the support from our development partners such as Oxfam, Friends of the Nation (FoN), GIZ and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, the plans and budgets over the years are prepared based on the needs and aspirations of the people and the progress of implementation presented to them through the approaches mentioned above. The District has enjoyed the active participation of civil society in co-creating its Medium-Term Development Plan (MTDP) and budgets that fully reflect the prioritised needs of the people.
It is therefore a great joy that co-created this maiden Open Government Partnership (OGP) Local Action Plan for the Shama District in consultation with its citizenry. Shama desires to use this initiative to consolidate the gains and double them with special focus on deepening its social accountability model and setting out a framework for standard worthy of emulation by others while achieving the OGP objectives.
What are the current challenges/areas for improvement in open government that the jurisdiction wishes to tackle?
In spite of the various enactments, regulations and policies and the pursuance of activities on deepening local governance at the subnational level, increasing citizens benefits and promoting the participation of the vulnerable and margilised in the governance process, much is yet to be achieved. The Assembly is still challenged and unable to reach all the citizens and get them actively involved in its activities as required by the laws and policies due to resources constraints, capacity issues and limited informed citizens. As a result, our people are seeking greater openness in the governance process, enhanced participation in Assembly’s activities and calling for means of greater transparency, responsiveness, accountability, and effectiveness in the functioning of the Assembly. There is the need for a vibrant civic space and well – informed citizen base and which is active enough to contribute meaningfully to the development and governance process, which OGP programme presents.
What are the medium-term open government goals that the government wants to achieve?
The Medium-term open government goals that the government of Ghana through Shama District Assembly want to achieve include the following:
- Enhance transparency (increasing access to and dissemination of information), accountability and inclusive development.
- Build a strong active citizenship that facilitates good governance and ensure maximum security
- Strengthen the local governance system by enhancing citizens’ participation especially women and Persons with Disabilities in decision making, electoral democracy and leadership.
- Minimise corruption levels, 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... violations and crime in our jurisdiction.
- Promote proactive, participatory and OGP participating governments are bringing gender perspectives to popular policy areas, ensuring diversity in participatory processes, and specifically targeting gender gaps in policies to address gov... based planning, budgeting and implementation of development projects and programmes.
- Build a vibrant Civil Society network and create congenial Civic Space for effective collaboration and participation in the governance process.
Assessing the key elements of OGP, i.e. building inclusive and sustainable societies alongside the myriad of invaluable contributions OGP offers, a successful implementation of the LAP 1 commitments will be guaranteed through mobilization of significant resources and cooperation. Our networking mechanism will be broadened to engage and attract external support, membership and resources to assure the successful implementation of the LAP 1 commitments and subsequent actualization of the aforementioned goals.
How does this action plan contribute to achieve the Open Government Strategic Vision?
This maiden Open Government Partnership (OGP) Local Action Plan for the Shama District was co-created through extensive consultation and contains strategies that are consistent with the policies and priorities of our government and relevant to achieving the aspiration of our people. The SDA therefore desires to use it to propel actions that will contribute to securing concrete commitments from national and subnational government and non-state actors to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies (especially using the expanded geo-spatial dashboard) to strengthen governance and establish a framework for standard worthy of emulation by others. The specific 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... are clearly outlined to achieve enhanced community benefits in extractive industry, increased participation of citizens especially women and persons with disability in governance (including decision making, project planning, budgeting and implementation); increased citizens’ access to information and ensure citizens participation in provision of portable water and creating clean environment.
But these cannot be achieved without the collaboration, enhanced resource availability and effective monitoring and evaluation of the activities implementation. We therefore call on all our stakeholders and anyone touched by our LAP 1 interventions to join the Assembly achieve a successful implementation of the commitments therein.
How does the open government strategic vision contribute to the accomplishment of the current administration’s overall policy goals?
Shama District Assembly recognizes that collaboration, transparency, and 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 are fundamental pillars for any modern, responsive and agile government. management are therefore committed to bringing together governments, citizens, civil society organisations, academia and the Governments are working to open private sector practices as well — including through beneficial ownership transparency, open contracting, and regulating environmental standards. Technical specificat... More to promote more transparent, accountable, responsive and inclusive governance in the district and significantly contribute to the attainment of international, national and local level open government objectives.
Sequel to the above, the OGP strategic vision is directly linked to the provisions in the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936); goals and objectives in the District Medium Term Development Plan (2022 – 2025) and the National Medium Term Development Policy Framework; National Popular Participation Strategy; National Decentralization Policy and Strategy (2020-2024), the National Public Sector Reform Strategy (2018 – 2023) and the Accessibility Policy and Guidelines for the Ghana Federation of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) as well as and facilitates the realization of the objectives of the Guidelines for Targeting the Poor and Vulnerable for Basic Sanitation services formulated by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and the Water Sector Strategic Development Plan Water Sector Strategic Development Plan (WSSDP). Our strategic vision will significantly contribute to the attainment of 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... (SDG) 1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, and 16.
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.
- Office of the District Coordinating Director, Shama District Assembly
- District Planning Coordinating Unit, Shama District Assembly
- Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Shama District Assembly
- Programme Coordinating Office, Friends of the Nation (FoN), a Non-Governmental Stakeholder
- Regional Office, Minerals Commission, Ministry of Land and Natural Resources
- Regional Office, Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of MESTI
- Regional Association, Commercial Quary Operators of Ghana
- District Secretariat of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation of Ghana
- District Office, Information Service Department
- District Office, National Commission for Civic Education
- District Environmental Health Department, Shama District Assembly
What kind of institutional arrangements are in place to coordinate between government agencies and departments to implement the OGP action plan?
The institutional arrangements put in place to coordinate between agencies and departments in order to successfully implement the Shama OGP LAP 1 include the following:
- An OGP Technical Working group (TWG) comprising Technical officers from relevant departments and units of the Assembly has been formed and will initiate all actions with the various stakeholders and lead the implementation process of the OGP LAP 1. They will lead all coordination, implementation, monitoring, stakeholder engagements, report writing and dissemination throughout the LAP implementation period.
- A 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) involving community leaders, regulatory bodies, service providers and duty bearers is constituted and adopted by the General Assembly and this body will oversee the implementation and provide a space for participatory monitoring and review of the action.
- The LAP 1 coordinating Office will be the focal point for initiation of all actions towards coordination between the Assembly and all other agencies within the OGP LAP 1 implementation process.
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.
The approaches to be adopted in the implementation of the LAP1.
- TWG will hold monthly meetings where actions are initiated towards implementation and related activities of the plan.
- A bi-monthly meeting of the MSF will be regularly organised
- DPCU, a statutory body will meet on quarterly basis to review, evaluate and make relevant recommendations for enhanced implementation of all activities.
- Regular Town Hall meetings would be organised to disseminate and receive update on impacts and challenges.
- General Assembly meetings will be periodically organised and the GPOC will use this platform to update members on the implementation and monitoring.
- Regular updates on the website of the Assembly to engage the public to be consistently carried out.
- Weekly Management meetings and briefing will be given to members appropriately.
- A WhatsApp Platforms for MSF and TWG have been created respectively for daily or weekly updates
- A WhatsApp Platform for all NGOs working in the district is in place
- WhatsApp platforms for Management, Heads of Departments and General staff respectively are in place
- Monthly Radio programme on two radio stations will be carried out
- GIZ Regional Review Meetings. A platform where all local authorities meet to brief each other and learn lessons on activities implemented within their jurisdiction.
What measures did you take to ensure diversity of representation (including vulnerable or marginalized populations) in these spaces?
- Stakeholder mapping. This afforded us the opportunity to identify all groups including the vulnerable and selected their representatives on the TWG and MSF. The roles of each stakeholder particularly service providers and regulators were identified during this session.
- Meetings of TWG. Persons with Disability and women were given priority in the membership of this group. The Gender Desk Officer was also selected as part of this group.
- Meetings of MSF. This involves a wider audience group of representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations, PWDs, Traditional Council and women organisations.
- Developed a communication and engagement strategy to share outcomes/results and best practices.
- Documentation of all processes, activities and results/outcomes and share these during relevant meetings and workshops.
- Town Hall Meeting with citizens, People’s Forum and radio sensitisations. Three of these stakeholder engagements were organised and attended by the citizens, Trade Associations, NGOs, State Actors, Private Sector, Gender Based Organisations, PWDs, local Politicians (Assembly members), Member of Parliament and Fishermen/Canoe Owners Association, Fish Mongers Association, Market Queens, among others.
Who participated in these spaces?
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... of this OGP LAP 1 was participated by various groups in the district. Notable among them are.
- Technocrats/Public Servants/Workers 20
- Citizens (general public) 75
- Trade Associations 40
- NGOs 7
- Private Sector 15
- Gender Based Organisations 43
- PWDs 10
- Local Politicians (Assembly members) 25
- Member of Parliament 1
- Fishermen/Canoe Owners Association 28
- Fish Mongers Association 30
- Market Queens 16
The TWG and MSF meetings were fully participated by members from across the varied stakeholder cluster. These sessions were repeated 3 times and heavily participated. The roadmap for the co-creation process, draft commitment and completed action plan were shared and validated. Comments, questions and suggestions were received from participants to enrich the content of the LAP and owned as an output of a dully consultative process.
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 Shama District Assembly believes that in order to achieve the desired goals in the implementation of this OGP LAP 1, the need for a constant dialogue and collaboration cannot be underestimated. Therefore, a number of measures have professed including the under listed.
- The MSF is the first point of avenue for key stakeholders to meet and discuss the implementation, share experiences and learn lessons. Roles and responsibilities will be reviewed and adjusted where necessary to achieve complete and comprehensive implementation.
- The second most important is the NGOs platform where implementers will brainstorm, share and understand challenges and fashion a new strategy for enhanced implementation.
- The quarterly DPCU meetings which is attended by the various stakeholders in the district will be used to seek greater support for the speedy implementation of this LAP 1.
- The TWG will be on the lookout for avenues particularly public meetings organised by others other than the TWG, to share the outcomes and call for new partnership and strengthen the existing collaboration.
Please describe the independent Monitoring Body you have identified for this plan.
The Independent monitoring body that will be engaged is Messrs Mpuntusem Foundation; a consultancy firm well experienced in monitoring and evaluation and project implementation strategies. The Firm will conduct an independent assessment and evaluation of the co-creation process, the implementation of the OGP LAP 1 and the results achieved from the implementation of the commitments under the guidance of the OGP Local and the IRM. As contained in the OGP handbook, the independent monitoring body 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
It must be emphasised that, periodic briefings will be given to the MSF and the General Assembly by the independent monitoring body and reports submitted to the OGP local as required.
Provide the contact details for the independent monitoring body:
- Mr. Benjamin Kwesi Amoak,, Chief Executive Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Richard Hato-Kuevor, Programme Coordinator, email@example.com
- Samuella Sarpong, Administrative Managress
What types of activities will you have in place to discuss progress on commitments with stakeholders?
A Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) Team will be formed and responsible for monitoring of the OGP activities. They will work under the direct supervision and in consultation with the MSF as follows:
- Develop indicators and tracking mechanism for each commitment and milestone
- Assign responsibilities to departments implicated in the LAP
- Develop effective engagement strategy during the action plan implementation.
- Develop and jointly implement monitoring activities.
- Support members of the public to constructively engage the OGP process.
- Maintain communication with government agencies and civil society responsible in the Stakeholder Forum for implementing specific commitments during the implementation period.
- Build partnerships between all forms of media and the OGP process.
- Monitor and report OGP performance.
- Conduct regular updates to the MSF and the General Assembly
The independent Monitoring Body will provide technical backstopping for the PM&E to ensure success in all activities.
How will you regularly check in on progress with implementing agencies?
The Shama OGP Secretariat has an M&E person who will be assigned the duty of collating all activity reports and compiling a district report on quarterly basis. The focus will be on getting information on progress and report to the TWG who will in turn present such report to the MSF. The GPOC will supervise the M&E personnel to carry out his or her duties effectively. When the M&E officer compile the draft report, it will be discussed with the TWG and any highlights worth reporting and challenges as well as lessons learned to inform better implementation and outcomes.
How will you share the results of your monitoring efforts with the public?
Dissemination of progress report to key stakeholders is an important component of the monitoring spectrum. The reports on the various commitments will be displayed on accountability bill boards, notice boards of the Assembly and community centres. Radio discussions will be held to share findings with the public and allow time for comments from the listeners.
The minuets of meetings will also be made public to the general public through the notice boards and accountability boards in the various communities.
Besides, there will be briefing at the DPCU meetings, General Assembly meetings, management and HODs meetings and comments/suggestions (feedback) received from all stakeholders for improved reporting and implementation.
Endorsement from Non-Governmental Stakeholders
- Mr. Solomon Kusi Ampofo, Programme Coordinator, Friends of the Nation (FoN)
- Mr. Mohammed Awal, Programme Coordinator, CDD Ghana
- Richmond Agbanyakilu, Programme Coordinator, Western Association of Non-Governmental Organisation
- Nana Akosua Gyamfiaba II, Ag. Queen Mother, Shama Traditional Council
- Hon. James Ateeku, President, Federation of the Physically Challenged