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Sekondi-Takoradi Final Report 2017

 Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly showed strong high-level commitment to the OGP process. The collaborative development of the action plan resulted in five commitments focused on improving services in the areas of security, sanitation, tax revenue collection and fiscal transparency. In the future, the STMA could improve implementation by securing sufficient funds for the fulfillment of commitments and their continuation.

Participation in OGP

Action Plan Date 01/2017–12/2017
Lead Agency (Office, Department, etc.) Development Planning Unit, Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly

 

Table 1: At a Glance
Number of Commitments 5
Level of Completion
Completed 0
Substantial 2
Limited 3
Not Started 0
Number of Commitments with…
Clear Relevance to OGP Values 5
Transformative Potential Impact 0
Substantial or Complete Implementation 2
All Three (✪) 0
Did It Open Government? Major 1
Outstanding 0

Action Plan Priorities

  1. Improvement in nighttime security within STMA
  2. Improvement in the provision of toilet facilities in homes within STMA
  3. Improvement in private sector participation in fixing fees

Institutional Context

This section summarizes the Institutional and Subnational Context section. It emphasizes the description of the lead institutions responsible for the action plan, their powers of coordination and how the institutional set-up boosts or affects the OGP process.

OGP leadership in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly

In the district of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), OGP had a clearly designated government lead with shared leadership efforts in the implementation of OGP commitments. STMA’s head of government leads the OGP initiative in the city. The government’s commitment to the OGP process was demonstrated at an official launch of the OGP action plan at a public event. The Local Government Act 2016, Act 936, sections 41–48, provides a legal mandate to the OGP process. The act was passed (unanimously, with a strong majority, etc.) After a successful election that led to a change in political administrations, the executive leader on the OGP was replaced by another political appointee during the implementation of the action plan. Notwithstanding, the institutions and CSO organizations leading the OGP commitments remained unchanged.

 

Table 2. Summary of OGP leadership in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly

1. Structure Yes No
Is there a clearly designated government lead for OGP?  
Shared Single
Is there a single lead agency or shared leadership on OGP efforts?  
Yes No
Is the head of government leading the OGP initiative?  
2. Legal Mandate Yes No
Is the government’s commitment to OGP established through an official publicly released mandate?  
Is the government’s commitment to OGP established through a legally binding mandate?  
3. Continuity and Instability Yes No
Was there a change in the organization(s) leading or involved with the OGP initiatives during the action plan implementation cycle? X
Was there a change in the executive leader during the duration of the OGP action plan cycle?

Participation in OGP by Government Institutions

This sub-section describes which government institutions were involved at various stages in OGP.

In STMA, participation in OGP was limited to a few state institutions and several independent civil society organizations (CSOs). Although various departments are linked to the implementation of the commitments (i.e., security, sanitation, fiscal transparency, private sector participation, and planning), the OGP co-creation process was largely driven by the regional coordinating council, Ghana Police Service, and the Ministry of Local Government. Responsibility for the OGP process was divided as follows:

Responsible for: Institution
Co-creation Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC)

Ghana Police Service

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development – Head of Social Accountability

Commitment 1: Security Ghana Police Service

Metropolitan Works Department

Department of Community Development

Commitment 2: Sanitation Environmental Health Department

National Commission Civil Education (NCCE)

Commitment 3: Fiscal Transparency NCCE

Information Department

Commitment 4: Private Sector Budget Department

Information Department

NBSSI/BAC/MoTI

Commitment 5: Planning Planning Department

 

STMA invited heads of various departments, agencies, and CSOs to a stakeholder meeting to discuss the OGP co-creation process. Based on the representations available at the meeting, a working group was formed to recommend commitments that the Assembly was to focus on when developing the action plan.

The implementation of OGP Commitments, however, did not receive enough attention beyond routine stakeholder consultation meetings. Even though the various state departments were directly involved, they lacked the requisite resources to execute the action plan. 

Table 3. Participation in OGP by Government Institutions

How did institutions participate? Ministries, Departments or agencies Legislative (parliaments or councils) Justice institutions (including quasi-judicial agencies) Other (special districts, authorities, parastatal bodies, etc.)
Consult: These institutions observed or were invited to observe the action plan, but may not be responsible for commitments in the action plan 3 0 0 0
Propose: These institutions proposed commitments for inclusion in the action plan 3 0 0 0
Implement:  These institutions are responsible for implementing commitments in the action plan whether or not they proposed the commitments 10[i] 0 0 1[ii]

Commitment Overview

Public Service – Security

In Sekondi-Takoradi, urban planning and security are critical challenges, and crime affects low-income areas in unique ways. A study the International Development Research Centre[iii] carried out found that in four Ghanaian cities, including Sekondi-Takoradi, poor urban areas faced increased vulnerability to crime, especially at night. In these areas, indoor plumbing and formal housing is limited, and citizens must walk along unlit roads to use toilet facilities at night.[iv] Citizens often become the victims of opportunistic crime, and police presence is limited. Many citizens also perceive the police as corrupt, and trust in law enforcement is low.[v]

To curb insecurity and crime, the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) included the commitment on security with the aim of empowering and encouraging citizens to be involved in community watch groups that monitor and report on crime in the city.

STMA organized a stakeholders’ meeting at the Takoradi and Sekondi Police District Divisions on 30 March 2017 and 19 April 2017, respectively, to discuss the formation of community watch groups. The meetings were represented by various stakeholders from Police Service, lead CSOs (STMA-CSUF), STMA-Staff, traditional leaders, Assembly Members, chiefs, and opinion leaders. The meeting identified communities with high crime rates and tasked the Assembly Members in those electoral areas to identify and recruit volunteers to serve on the neighborhood watch committee.

The neighborhood watch committees could not be implemented due to the lack of commitment from Assembly Members of beneficiary communities and the lack of incentives and logistics for the volunteers. Moreover, some volunteers declined to continue rendering their services due to the biometric screening they were subjected to.

As part of a way of improving security in the metropolis, STMA plans to embark on a sensitization exercise in crime-prone communities to create awareness of the benefits of volunteering on the community watch committees. In particular, STMA plans to partner with the chiefs and opinion leaders of the communities involved in implementing this commitment.

Public Service-Sanitation

The objective of this commitment was to build a strong partnership with landlords and resident associations to increase the provision of household toilets and move away from the currently important provision of public toilets in the metropolis. The latter had been incorporated as a way to minimize the issue of open defecation in the metropolis and to benefit the health and safety of the citizenry. To achieve the household toilet provision, STMA was to review the existing register of toilets in collaboration with CSOs and landlords in the metropolis and to pilot new models of toilet provision in selected communities.

A stakeholder meeting for landlords/resident associations was organized at the Assembly Chamber on 15 June 2017 to create awareness of the need for household toilets. The principle stakeholders present were landlord associations, lead CSOs, and STMA staff.

The commitment on sanitation could not be implemented because of resources and logistical constraints. Notwithstanding this, STMA made some headway with landlords in Fijai and Engyiresia by helping them acquire their own household toilets.

Fiscal Transparency

The primary goal of this commitment was to streamline financial record management and sharing to meet citizens’ expectations on how revenues are generated and how external inflows are spent. This activity aimed to contribute to building citizens’ trust and confidence in resource allocation and utilization and to strengthen fiscal transparency and accountability.

The main beneficiaries were heads of departments and the general citizenry in STMA. In the future, STMA can enhance fiscal transparency by building the capacity of key stakeholders to enable them to explain financial records. In addition, adequate resources will be needed to help disseminate financial records on community notice boards.

Public Participation-Private Sector

The objective of this commitment was to proactively engage businesses, including the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and STCCI, to determine fees and help generate more revenue for local development. This led to openness and private participation in the determination and fixing of fees. Both STMA and the private sector benefited from this activity. This process could be improved by training members in understanding the critical variables used in fixing fees.  

Public Participation – Planning

The goal of this commitment was to deepen citizens’ participation in the planning and implementation of public projects. This has led to increased citizenry input and involvement in planning STMA’s projects and community-led initiatives. For example, the community initiated the construction of the CHPS compound in Diabenekrom. The beneficiaries of this commitment are the citizens and STMA. The capacity-building initiatives for assembly members, unit committees, CSOs, and traditional authorities in the planning and budgeting process of the Assembly can help improve on this commitment in the future.

[i] Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC), Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development – Head of Social Accountability, Metropolitan Works Department, Department of Community Development, Environmental Health Department, National Commission Civil Education (NCCE), Budget Department, Information Department, NBSSI/BAC/MoTI, Planning Department

[ii] Ghana Police Service

[iii] International development organization based in Canada: https://www.idrc.ca/en

[iv] International Development Research Centre,
“Crime and the ‘poverty penalty’ in urban Ghana.” 2016 https://www.idrc.ca/sites/default/files/sp/Documents%20EN/idrc-crime-and-the-poverty-penalty-in-urban-ghana-letter-online-and-office-printing.pdf.

[v] Transparency International, Overview of Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Ghana, 2010. https://www.transparency.org/files/content/corruptionqas/271_Corruption_and_anti_corruption_in_Ghana.pdf.

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