The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is advocating for the decentralization of the health and education sectors for improved service delivery.
The Centre believes that the move would deepen decentralization by focusing on devolving key basic services to local level governments.
Mr. Mohammed Awal, Team Lead for CDD-Ghana’s Social Accountability Project, who made the call, said bringing the two key sectors under the various assemblies, would not only improve service delivery at the local level, but also promote productivity and accountability.
He said the situation where duty bearers in the two sectors were not accountable to the local structures was inimical to quality service delivery because it was difficult to address infractions in the performance of their duties.
He was speaking at a two-day capacity building and sensitization workshop for the Media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the area of social accountability, local government and service delivery in Kumasi.
The training formed part of a project being implemented by CDD-Ghana dubbed “Enhancing Public Official Responsiveness to Service Delivery at the Sub-National Level”.
Funded by STAR-Ghana, the goal was to build a coalition to support CDD Ghana’s policy advocacy on deepening decentralization for accountable local government and better service delivery.
The pre-tertiary education bill which was currently before parliament would decentralize basic education when passed, but little progress has so far been made in the decentralization of the health sector.
Mr. Awal said although the process to decentralize education had started, it was imperative for CSO, the media and other relevant stakeholders to push for the passage of the bill into law to avert undue delays.
He underlined the need for central government through the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralization (IMCCoD) to make the full devolution of health and education sector the key policy anchor in the new national decentralization policy implementation framework.
Presenting the policy recommendations of CDD-Ghana towards improving local government accountability and service delivery, he implored the Local Government Ministry to ensure that the implementation of centrally-driven and local development initiatives, were fully devolved to district assemblies as the focal coordinating and implementing agencies.
The Office of the Head of Local Government Service, he said, must strengthen inter-sectoral cooperation system at the district level, through stronger national and regional level oversight, coordination and accountability.
Ambassador Francis Tsegah, a Senior Fellow at CDD-Ghana, said Ghana had come a long way since the introduction of the decentralization concept in 1988 but the country could do better if stakeholders collectively advocated for development-oriented reforms.
He said the training was basically about how to get people in leadership at the sub-national level to be responsive to the needs of the people and charged the media to devote adequate space and time for developmental issues.