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Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana

Access to Information (SEK0009)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sekondi-Takoradi Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly

Support Institution(s): Other involved actors Government Development Planning Officer, Budget Analyst, Management Information System Officer , Social Welfare and Community Development Officer Civil Society, Private Sector Institution: STMA-Citywide Settlement Upgrading Fund Designation: Project and Administrative Manager Name: Aziz Mahmoud Telephone: +233-20-9056647 E-mail: admin@stma-csuf.com.gh or maktub22115@gmail.com Berea Social Foundation, Friends of the Nation, African Women International, Community Land and Development Foundation, Global Communities, Media and other relevant Local and International Organisations (eg. Behavioural Insights Team, CDD-Ghana)

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Records Management, Subnational, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

NO. 4: ACCESS TO INFORMATION – Communication and Feedback
Strengthen the Client Service Unit of the Assembly by creating a centralised communication platform and outlet to enable citizens to access key information, report complaints and receive feedback on municipal services
Name and contact information of responsible department/team
Institution: Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly
Designation: Metropolitan Public Relations Officer
Name: John Laste
Telephone +233-26-6480599
E-mail: jonylaste@yahoo.com
Other involved actors
Government
Development Planning Officer, Budget Analyst, Management Information System Officer , Social Welfare and Community Development Officer
Civil Society, Private Sector
Institution: STMA-Citywide Settlement Upgrading Fund
Designation: Project and Administrative Manager
Name: Aziz Mahmoud
Telephone: +233-20-9056647
E-mail: admin@stma-csuf.com.gh or maktub22115@gmail.com
Berea Social Foundation, Friends of the Nation, African Women International, Community Land and Development Foundation, Global Communities, Media and other relevant Local and International Organisations (eg. Behavioural Insights Team, CDD-Ghana)
Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed
As a conscious strategy to improve client service and ensure prompt response to the needs of citizens through technology and innovation, the STMA developed a Service Charter in 2013 which served as a guide to staff and citizens on standards of services rendered by the Assembly. To complement the Charter, a web-based complaint platform (smartsol), toll free line, community noticeboards and website were developed to provide platforms for sharing information and also allow citizens to channel their concerns on service delivery and receive feedback within the shortest possible time. Although the above communication tools and avenues would have transformed and improved Municipal service delivery and ensured inclusive governance, citizens did not explore the full benefits due to inadequate sensitisation, and weak capacity by the STMA to ensure their full operationalization. This situation has resulted in poor access to information on municipal services rendered and other transactions of STMA, causing apathy and distrust among citizens. This atmosphere has fuelled a growing perception of corruption, secrecy and ineffectiveness of the Assembly in executing its mandate.
This is evidenced by feedback from stakeholder consultations during the co-creation process. 81% of respondents indicated that the Assembly is not open and citizens do not have access to information about the municipal services rendered by the Assembly and are not aware of possible avenues to report complaints and receive feedback.
Brief Description of Commitment
By identifying key areas of concern and information needs of citizens and other stakeholders, public-facing Departments/Unit can provide useful and relevant information and feedback to queries. A one-stop communication centre/hub would be created to manage all channels of communication; including web-based platforms, to ensure access to information such as marriage registration, commercial vehicle licensing, permitting and other services of transactional nature. Also, the communication centre will serve as an avenue for receiving citizens‟ complaints and provide prompt feedback to queries.
Main Objective
To increase access to information on municipal services and strengthen avenue to receive and provide feedback to public complaints.
Way in which this commitment is relevant to further advancing OGP values of access to information, public accountability, civic participation, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability
Public accountability: By providing information in a format and medium that would be useful and relevant to citizens, all public officials/Departments would be subjected to scrutiny and the status quo would be challenged if there are no plausible justifications. Also, it would enable citizens to contribute to better service delivery by proffering suggestions that would meet their needs. Civic Participation: creating the civic space for citizens to access information make informed judgement and request for improved service delivery would empower citizens to be vigilant and contribute to the development of the Metropolis. Technology and Innovation for Openness and Accountability: Providing multiple channels for communication would enhance citizens‟ access to real-time data on on-going and future projects, information of transactional nature and prompt feedback on queries. This would help address issues of red-tape in accessing public services
Linkage to SDGs
The fourth commitment on access to information encompasses all 17 SDGs. This is because we believe that access to information in all forms has the potential of making societies better, safe and responsive to needs of citizens
Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment
1. Liaise with relevant public facing departments and unit of the Assembly to Identify and collate the various information needs of citizens to update the Service Charter.
Staff time, Printing of updated service charter
Oct. 2018 – June 2019
2. Strengthen and equip the Client Service unit. Build capacity of client service staff Re-activate and operationalize various communication mediums (toll free line, email, SMS, Website, Social Media, Assembly Brochures, Suggestion Boxes) This process will involve continuous A/B testing on these different outreach methods to determine which is most effective at increasing engagement, and which community members they are able to engage.
Staff time, Resource person, Desktop Computers, BIT for impact evaluation
Jan. 2019 – Dec. 2019
3. Re-activate and expand the Smartsol2 to provide information through field and lab evaluations Municipal services Financial information on revenue and expenditure
Staff time, Consultancy, BIT for impact evaluation
June 2019 – Dec. 2019
4. Take stock of the performance and satisfaction levels of citizens on public services rendered by the STMA, government institutions and other agencies (ECG, GWCL, GPHA, GRC) for continuous improvement by Preparing the 3rd citizens report card Instituting annual social accountability forum using Community Scorecards The Community Scorecards will go through rapid iterative testing to ensure that the final design is effective at increasing pro-social behaviours
Staff time, Consultancy for citizens report card, BIT for impact evaluation
Aug. 2019 – Dec. 2019
5. Provide notice boards in selected communities within the Metropolis to display relevant information.
Staff time, Cost of notice boards
July 2019 – Aug. 2020
Future Vision
To enhance the fulfilment of social contract between local government and citizens by creating space for dialogue, report on outcomes of engagements and providing access to information


Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana's Commitments

  1. Transparency and Accountability in Public Infrastructure

    SEK0006, 2018, E-Government

  2. Civic Participation & Fiscal Transparency

    SEK0007, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Public Service Delivery

    SEK0008, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Access to Information

    SEK0009, 2018, E-Government

  5. Public Services –Sanitation

    SEK0010, 2018, Public Participation

  6. Public Service-Security

    SEK0001, 2017, Capacity Building

  7. Public Service - Sanitation

    SEK0002, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport

  8. Fiscal Transparency

    SEK0003, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. Starred commitment Public Participation - Private Sector

    SEK0004, 2017, Private Sector

  10. Public Participation - Planning

    SEK0005, 2017, Capacity Building